The Boy Scouts of America is considering ending its ban on gay leaders and scouts.
If the board of directors approves the change, the individual civic and religious groups that sponsor Boy Scout troops would be able to decide whether they will exclude gay leaders and scouts.
If this policy shift is approved by the national board meeting next week, it will be a sharp reversal of the Scouts' decades' old national policy banning homosexuals.
"The policy change under discussion would allow the religious, civic or educational organizations that oversee and deliver Scouting to determine how to address this issue," BSA spokesman Deron Smith said in a statement to USA TODAY.
Only seven months ago, the Boy Scouts affirmed its ban on gays after a nearly two-year examination of the issue by a committee of volunteers convened by national leaders of the Boy Scouts of America, known as the BSA. However, local chapters and some members of the national board -- corporate CEO Randall Stephenson of AT&T and James Turley of Ernst & Young -- called for a reconsideration.
In 2000, the Supreme Court ruled that BSA could exclude gay troop leaders.
Christopher Baker, an Eagle Scout who returned his medal in July, 2012 in protest of BSA policy on gays, joins The Daily Circuit on Tuesday, Jan. 29.