Boy Scout leaders to vote on lifting gay ban

FILE - In this Feb. 4, 2013 file photo, James Oliver, left, hugs his brother and fellow Eagle Scout, Will Oliver, who is gay, as Will and other supporters carry four boxes filled with petitions to end the ban on gay scouts and leaders in front of the Boy Scouts of America headquarters in Dallas, Texas. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez, File)
FILE - In this Feb. 4, 2013 file photo, James Oliver, left, hugs his brother and fellow Eagle Scout, Will Oliver, who is gay, as Will and other supporters carry four boxes filled with petitions to end the ban on gay scouts and leaders in front of the Boy Scouts of America headquarters in Dallas, Texas. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez, File)

GRAPEVINE, Texas (AP) – The Boy Scouts of America will convene a two-day meeting of 1,400 local leaders to consider changing its long-standing ban on openly gay boys in the scouting movement.

Officials of the Irving, Texas-based organization are scheduled to begin the meeting Wednesday. On Thursday, they plan to open the first of the ballots cast on whether to allow homosexual Boy Scouts.

Scouting officials have proposed allowing openly gay Scouts but retaining the ban on gay adult Scout leaders.

Some conservatives have denounced the proposal, saying the Scouts’ traditions would be undermined by the presence of openly gay youth. Gay-rights supporters have welcomed the proposed change but want the Boy Scouts to lift the ban on gay adults as well.

The gathering is being held in the Dallas-Fort Worth suburb of Grapevine.

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