The Boy Scouts of America is considering lifting the national ban on participation by gays, possibly letting local councils reach their own decisions.

While the right of Scouting to bay gays from its ranks was upheld by the Supreme Court, we believe the time is well past when this ban should be lifted.

A growing number of Americans is realizing that a person's lifestyle and sexuality are a personal choice and none of our business.

We are in an era when the stigma of being gay is dimming. We all form long-term attachments, create families, adopt children, join the military. Putting labels on people is ignorant. We should rise about it.

All young people have challenges as they grow. One of the positive influences open to them is Scouting. Realizing that gay young people have been denied the joys of Scouting is truly sad. And it's discouraging to know that Scouting labels gays as undesirable, setting an example we should not want our children to follow.

Let's hope we can ascend to a higher plain where we look at a person's heart rather than his or her sexual orientation.

There are a great many more important things to think about and to work on. Our efforts will be that much stronger if we do it together, without discrimination of any kind.