A spokesman for the Mormon church says the Boy Scouts "acted wisely" today in putting off any decision about whether to admit gays as scouts or adult leaders. The Mormons are among the religious groups that have urged the Scouts not to end their current ban on gays.
Scout officials today decided that any decision on changing the policy on gays will be up to the 1,400 voting members of the group's national council at a meeting in Texas in May. The organization's executive board will prepare a resolution to be voted on by the council.
A proposed change would have allowed individual troops to decide whether to admit gays. But gay rights groups said no Scout units should be allowed to exclude gays. And some conservatives, including religious leaders whose churches sponsor troops, said there would be large numbers of defections from the Scouts if the policy were to be changed.
A Boy Scouts spokesman says there's been "an outpouring of feedback from the American public" in the past couple of weeks.
Gay rights supporters are critical of the delay. Jennifer Tyrell, an Ohio mother who was removed from her post as a Cub Scout volunteer because she's a lesbian said, "A Scout is supposed to be brave, and the Boy Scouts failed to be brave today."