The move comes as a surprise to some, The New York Times reports. As recently as last year, the organization reaffirmed its stance forbidding homosexuals from participating in any of the group’s activities. In 2000, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld its right to discriminate based on sexual orientation.
The organization had been losing support. Late last year UPS (NYSE:UPS) announced that it would no longer contribute to the BSA. That move followed a similar action by Intel (NASDAQ:INTC) earlier in the year. The CEOs of both AT&T (NYSE:T) and Ernst & Young, both on the board of the BSA, also announced that they personally did not support the ban.
If the Boy Scouts drops the ban, it move the decision to the local level. In a statement, the BSA said, “The Boy Scouts would not, under any circumstances, dictate a position to units, members, or parents. This would mean there would no longer be any national policy regarding sexual orientation, and the chartered organizations that oversee and deliver Scouting would accept membership and select leaders consistent with each organization’s mission, principles, or religious beliefs.”