Gay brothers call for end to Boy Scouts ban

Brothers Lucien and Pascal Tessier are proud members of the Boy Scouts of America. They are also gay.

Following in the footsteps of their dad Oliver, a Life Scout, and mother Tracie, a former scout committee chair, the two brothers have spent the bulk of their young lives committed to the values of the scout tradition: loyalty, honesty and personal accountability.

Founded in 1910, the Boy Scouts of America has long held a unique position in American society. But the organisation's struggle over whether or not to accept openly gay members and troop leaders has left the Tessier brothers frustrated.

Lucien, 20, and Pascal, 16, from Kensington in the US state of Maryland, have both been supported by their local troop since coming out when they were in high school.

Today at the Boy Scouts of America's annual meeting in Texas the organisation delayed a vote on whether to lift an official ban until May. Many faith-based groups which charter scout troops have warned of a mass exodus if the rules are changed.

But only full acceptance of gay scouts, the brothers say, would faithfully continue the Scout tradition.

"I think that by proposing this sort of policy where local troops decide for themselves whether to admit gay scouts or not, they're not living up to their responsibility to accept everyone," Lucien told the BBC.