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The Boston Globe

Nation

Proposal would allow gay Scouts, not leaders

Move criticized by both sides on divisive issue

Seeking an elusive middle ground on an issue that has divided its ranks and drawn heated national debate, the Boy Scouts of America on Friday proposed ending its longstanding ban on openly gay scouts but continuing to bar gay adults from serving as leaders. The decision must be approved by the roughly 1,400 voting members of the Scouts’ National Council at a meeting in Texas the week of May 20.

‘‘No youth may be denied membership in the Boy Scouts of America on the basis of sexual orientation or preference alone,’’ the proposed policy states. But the organization ‘‘will maintain the current membership policy for all adult leaders.’’

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