Members of the Boy Scouts Great Salt Lake Council met today to discuss how to vote on a proposal to partially lift a ban on gays in the organization. A final vote on the plan will take place at a national meeting later this month.
The Great Salt Lake Council will send 15 voting members to a meeting of Boy Scouts of America National Council in Irving, Texas on May 20. There they will join almost 1400 other member who will decide if the century-old organization should change its policy banning gay members. Last month, Scouting officials announced a proposal that would allow gay youth into the organization, but exclude gay adults. After meeting Wednesday morning to discuss the proposed policy change, officials from the Great Salt Lake Council released a statement saying:
"we unanimously passed a motion to allow each of our 15 voters to vote their conscience as to what is in the best interest of our youth members, the council and the BSA."
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the charter organization for the majority of scouting units in Utah. In a statement last month, Church officials said they were satisfied with efforts by scouting officials to address the issue of whether or not to openly admit gay members. Recent surveys of scouting members done both on a local and national level show a majority would prefer to retain the current policy that bans all homosexuals from membership.