(CNSNews. com) - A majority of Americans say the Boy Scouts should not allow open homosexuals to be Scout leaders, according to a new Gallup Poll.
The survey, conducted Nov. 28-29 for USA Today, found that only 42 percent of Americans support openly gay Scout leaders, while a majority 52 percent are opposed.
Broken down along political lines, only 26 percent of self-identified Republicans expressed support for openly homosexual Scout leaders – compared with 40 percent support among Independents and a full 60 percent support among Democrats.
Respondents were asked: “Do you think the Boy Scouts of America should or should not allow openly gay adults to serve as Boy Scout leaders?”
The survey results were based on telephone interviews conducted Nov. 26-29, among 1,015 randomly selected adults, aged 18 and older, from all 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia.
The scientifically designed poll had a sampling error of plus-or-minus 4 percentage points – with a 95 percent confidence factor.
Peter Sprigg, senior fellow for policy studies at the Family Research Council, said he was pleased by the poll results.
"It is gratifying to see that a majority of Americans, by a clear margin, support the rights of a private organization such as the Boy Scouts to set its own standards for membership and leadership," Sprigg told CNSNews.com.
"Most Americans harbor no ill will toward people with same-sex attractions. But at the same time, they respect the right of parents to be the first to introduce the controversial topic of sexual orientation to their children," Sprigg said.
The Boy Scouts are currently under pressure from supporters of a lesbian former den mother from Ohio, Jennifer Tyrrell, who was removed from her leadership post earlier this year, when her sexual orientation was made public. Tyrrell has petitioned for reinstatement.Meanwhile, some corporations, including United Parcel Service (UPS), have changed their charitable giving policies to exclude gifts to organizations that do not allow homosexuals to be members or leaders.
"This finding reinforces that it is bad business for American corporations, such as UPS, to blacklist the Boy Scouts from charitable giving because of their faithfulness to principle," Sprigg said.