"By refusing to consider an end to its ban on gay and lesbian parents, the Boy Scouts have missed an opportunity to exercise leadership and usher the organization back to relevancy," Rich Ferraro, a spokesman for GLAAD, which promotes lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender rights, told Reuters.
GLAAD, together with Scouts for Equality, supported campaigns that amassed 1.6 million signatures for an online petition on Change.org that calls for an end to banning gays from the Boy Scouts.
"We are seeing a rapid and historic shift toward equality for all," Mr. Jacobs said in a statement. "The Boy Scouts are now beginning to catch up with this reality."
For John Stemberger, an Eagle Scout and founder of OnMyHonor.net, a coalition of parents and Scouts who support the ban on gays, the proposal raises many concerns.