MSNBC is reporting today that the BSA may soon drop its mandatory discrimination policy in favor of a “local option” allowing each individual unit and chartering organization to choose leaders and allow members as it sees fit:
The new policy, now under discussion, would eliminate the ban from the national organization’s rules, leaving local sponsoring organizations free to decide for themselves whether to admit gay scouts.
“The chartered organizations that oversee and deliver scouting would accept membership and select leaders consistent with their organization’s mission, principles or religious beliefs,” according to Deron Smith, a spokesman for the Boy Scouts’ national organization.
Individual sponsors and parents “would be able to choose a local unit which best meets the needs of their families,” Smith said.
There is no specific mention whether this policy would also allow some local units to accept atheist, agnostic, or other non-theist members and leaders, or whether it would only apply to the gay ban.