The Boy Scouts of America today put the kibosh on a proposal to overturn their longstanding, Supreme-Court-upheld ban on openly gay troop leaders and scouts.
A secret 11-member special committee consisting of scout executives and volunteers, which has been reviewing the controversial ban for the past two years, concluded unanimously back in February that "this policy is absolutely the best policy for the Boy Scouts," according to BSA spokesman Deron Smith. The evaluation was recently reviewed by the national board's officers, and the conclusion was released to the public this morning.
The decision puts an end to hopes that a resolution to overturn the ban will be reviewed by the board. Additionally, it appears the hundreds of thousands who signed the Change.org petition calling for an end to the exclusion policy have had no effect on the BSA's top brass.
"The vast majority of the parents of youth we serve value their right to address issues of same-sex orientation within their family, with spiritual advisers and at the appropriate time and in the right setting," said Scouts chief executive Bob Mazzuca. "We fully understand that no single policy will accommodate the many diverse views among our membership or society."
However, all is not lost.
AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson, who is set to become national board president in 2014, has expressed interest in seeing the policy removed.
"We don't agree with every policy of every organization we support, nor would we expect them to agree with us on everything," said AT&T in a statement. "Our belief is that change at any organization must come from within to be successful and sustainable."