Conservative politicians and religious leaders have said that changing the policy would dilute the organization's voice and mission.
Some, including former Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum, have argued the change could destroy scouting. Richard Land of the Southern Baptist Convention said the change could be a "catastrophe."
"What they've said to us and to other religious leaders is that they are doing this under pressure, and we're going to give people what basically amounts to a local option," Land said. "You can't have a local option of a core conviction."
Changing the policy against having openly gay leaders or Scouts "would be a grave mistake," the conservative Family Research Council and dozens of other groups said in a half-page ad in USA Today this week.
The message called on the Boy Scouts to "show courage" and "stand firm for timeless values."
"Every American who believes in freedom of thought and religious liberty should be alarmed by the attacks upon the Boy Scouts, who have had core convictions about morality for 100 years," the ad said. "Every Scout takes an oath to keep himself 'morally straight.' The Boy Scouts have every right to include sexual conduct in how they define that term."
But others say scouting is suffering because of its policy on gays, not despite it.
Eagle Scout Zach Wahls, founder of Scouts for Equality, says the ban has backfired.
When he was 10, Wahls' Cub Scout pack had to find a new home because the Boy Scouts of America's policy violated the nondiscrimination rule of the school district that hosted it.
"I was confused, because my den mother, Jackie -- who is my actual mother -- was a lesbian, and nobody in our unit had any issue with that," Wahls wrote. The pack managed to find another sponsor -- a nearby church -- but "some parents pulled their kids from the pack, uncomfortable with entrusting their sons to an organization they believed engaged in discrimination."