GRAPEVINE, Texas -

A possible watershed date has arrived for the Boy Scouts of America.

The Scouts' national leadership votes Thursday on whether to allow openly gay Scouts in its ranks. It's a decision on a critical, emotionally charged issue for one of the nation's oldest youth organizations and its millions of members.

About 1,400 national council members are to vote on whether to stop excluding youth Scouts solely for being gay. A ban on gay adult leaders would remain.

The vote is taking place at a resort in Grapevine, Texas, not far from BSA's Irving, Texas, headquarters, during the national council's three-day annual meeting. While the meeting is closed to the public, it's being watched closely by supporters and opponents of a change.

The results are expected to be announced Thursday afternoon.