(NEW YORK) -- The Boy Scouts of America, which was expected to announce Wednesday a decision regarding its controversial ban on gay and lesbian members, instead said a decision won't come until May at the earliest.
Facing pressure from many scouts and parents across the country to end the 100-year-old policy, the BSA Executive Board was expected to potentially repeal it, leaving the decision up to individual troops. But the call will now be left up to the National Council -- made up of about 1,400 members -- who will wait until their May meeting to vote on the ban.
"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," the BSA said in a statement.
Over the weekend, President Obama expressed his hope that the board would lift the ban.
A poll released by Quinnipiac University Wednesday said 55 percent of American voters would support the BSA dropping its ban, whereas 33 percent would want to preserve it.
Women supported its repeal 61 to 27 percent. For men, the decision was tighter with 49 percent advocating for gay scouts and 39 percent opposing them.
A Gallup/USA Today poll conducted in December that asked specifically about allowing gay and lesbian adults to serve as scout leaders found 52 percent opposed the idea.
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