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The Boston Globe

Nation

Boy Scouts delays decision on admitting gays

Executive board says issue will be voted on in May

IRVING, Texas — Caught in an ideological crossfire, the Boy Scouts of America is retreating until May from a decision about whether to ease its policy of excluding gays. Whatever the organization eventually does, it’s decision may anger major constituencies and worsen schisms within Scouting.

The delay, which the Scouts attributed to ‘‘the complexity of this issue,’’ was announced Wednesday after closed-door deliberations by the organization’s national executive board. Under consideration was a proposal to ease the longstanding ban on gays by allowing sponsors of local troops to decide for themselves on the membership of gay Scouts and adult leaders.

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