Another leading opponent of the ban is Eagle Scout Zach Wahls, a 21-year-old activist raised by lesbian mothers in Iowa. He pledged to continue his advocacy, yet welcomed the proposed lifting of the ban on gay youths.
"Today, this is about the kids, and we are glad that the Boy Scouts of America is taking this historic step forward," he said in an e-mail.
On the other side, the Family Research Council has been circulating an online petition urging the BSA to keep the ban. And in Utah, the Boy Scouts' Great Salt Lake Council — one of the largest in the country with 73,400 youth members — said a survey showed that more than 80 percent of its leaders opposed lifting the ban.
John Stemberger, an Eagle Scout and conservative activist from Florida, assailed the new proposal as a retreat in the face of gay-rights pressure.
"We urge the National Council to vote against this resolution and uphold the time-tested membership policy of the Boy Scouts," Stemberger said.