Poll: Majority of voters back gay Boy Scouts

Jennifer Tyrrell and her 7-year-old son, Cruz Burns. Tyrell was ousted as a den leader because she is a lesbian. (The Associated Press/ )
Jennifer Tyrrell and her 7-year-old son, Cruz Burns. Tyrell was ousted as a den leader because she is a lesbian. (The Associated Press/ )

A majority of American voters want the Boy Scouts to lift its ban against gay members and leaders, a new Quinnipiac poll finds.

The Boy Scouts of America announced last week that it was considering changing its policy of banning gay scouts and troop leaders. On Wednesday the organization said that decision would be delayed until a national meeting in May.

In the Quinnipiac poll, 55 percent of respondents said the scouts should drop the ban,  while 33 percent said it should remain.

There is a significant gender gap in the results. Women back gay scouts by a 61 to 27 percent margin; among men it's a narrower 49 to 39 percent margin.

Catholics are also far more likely than Protestants to support the inclusion of gay scouts.

White Catholics support gay scouts by a 63 to 25 percent margin. White Protestants are divided, with 44 percent endorsing an end to the ban and 41 percent wanting it to stay. Evangelical Protestants are the only religious group surveyed among whom more say the ban should stay than think it should go, 56 percent to 33 percent.

The survey of 1,772 registered voters was taken Jan. 30-Feb. 4, and has a margin of error of 2.3 percentage points.

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Aaron Blake | February 6, 2013