The Boy Scouts of America on Wednesday decided it needs more time to make a decision on whether to lift its national ban on gay members and leaders.
The organization’s executive body has delayed the decision until its annual meeting in May.
“After careful consideration and extensive dialogue within the Scouting family, along with comments from those outside the organization, the volunteer officers of the Boy Scouts of America’s National Executive Board concluded that due to the complexity of this issue, the organization needs time for a more deliberate review of its membership policy,” a press release from Boy Scouts reads.
The nonprofit organization is hoping that the extra time will help with drafting a resolution on membership standards. Approximately 1,400 voting members of the national council will vote on the resolution in May.
Late last month, the organization announced it was considering lifting the national ban on gay members, leaving local chapters the right to decide who is admitted. The controversial ban has been a part of the Scouts' more than 100-year history.
The Scouts’ decision to wait has been criticized by advocacy group GLAAD.
“An organization that serves youth and chooses to intentionally hurt dedicated young people and hardworking parents not only flies in the face of American principles, but the principles of being a Boy Scout,” said GLAAD President Herndon Graddick in a statement. “The Boy Scouts of America is choosing to ignore the cries of millions, including religious institutions, current scouting families and corporate sponsors, but these cries will not be silenced. We're living in a culture where hurting young gay people because of who they are is unpopular and discriminatory.”