MORAGA (KCBS) — At a meeting next week, the Boy Scouts of America may amend its national policy excluding gays by allowing local councils to decide the matter themselves. The move is being welcomed by a Bay Area family that has been fighting the ban for months.

Last year, 18-year-old Ryan Andresen of Moraga was thrown out of the scouts after he told his scoutmaster he was gay. His online petition to get his Eagle Scout pin was signed by over a half million worldwide.

Eric Andresen, Ryan’s father has been very protective of his son’s privacy since his struggle made national headlines. “Ryan has had a very difficult four months. While 90 percent of the responses we’ve received have been positive and in support; that 10 percent negative always seems to be what kids focus on,” Eric Andresen said.

If local chapters are allowed to decide on their own, Eric Andresen said it’s a step in the right direction but only a partial victory.

“Ryan right now is more interested in just seeing a policy change and protecting other scouts so that there aren’t other scouts that have to go through what he’s been through,” his father added.

Calls from KCBS to the Mt. Diablo Silverado council have not been returned as of Tuesday afternoon. An executive of the council told the Contra Costa Times that they have heard from supporters and opponents of a policy change, but they don’t know what is going to happen until the national Scouting leadership makes its move.

(Copyright 2013 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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