The leader of the American Family Association has said the Boy Scouts of America’s announcement that it might lift its ban on gay scouts could open its doors to paedophiles.

American Family Association spokesman, Bryan Fischer,commented on a recent announcement that the BSA would vote on whether or not to drop its national policy banning gay volunteers, members and staff.

The BSA said it was voting on whether to pass “any decisions on gay membership to the local level,” which could mean that some scouting troops would become inclusive of openly gay members.

Fischer tweeted to say that a convicted paedophile was the new “poster boy” for the BSA. He said: “Jerry Sandusky is now the poster boy for the Boy Scouts of America.”

He later tweeted: “A homosexual does not belong in the same tent with young boys any more than a man belongs in a tent full of Girl Scouts.”

Other conservative critics spoke out against the decision to conduct a vote on the issue.

Tony Perkins, the leader of the Family Research Council said the effect of allowing gay scouts would be “devastating” to the organisation, reports Right Wing Watch.

He wrote in an email to members: “A departure from their long-held policies would be devastating to an organization that has prided itself on the development of character in boys. In fact, according to a recent Gallup survey, only 42 percent of Americans support changing the policy to allow homosexual scout leaders.

“As the BSA board meets next week, it is crucial that they hear from those who stand with them and their current policy regarding homosexuality.”

Perkins also said that it was the duty of the boy scouts to “abstain from homosexual conduct,” and that the BSA had been subject to “harassment” from “homosexual activists”.

He said: “The Boy Scouts of America board would be making a serious mistake to bow to the strong-arm tactics of LGBT activists and open the organization to homosexuality. What has changed in terms of the Boy Scouts’ concern for the well-being of the boys under their care? Or is this not about the well-being of the Scouts, but the funding for the organization?

“If the board capitulates to the bullying of homosexual activists, the Boy Scouts’ legacy of producing great leaders will become yet another casualty of moral compromise. The Boy Scouts should stand firm in their timeless values and respect the right of parents to discuss these sexual topics with their children.”

The Boy Scouts have, however, lost funding from several large corporate donors over the policy, including UPS, back in November, who had given over $150,000 (£95,000), Intel, another of the scouts’ largest donors, ceased funding back in September, and the Merck Foundation in December. 

Two weeks ago, gay teenager Ryan Andresen received his final decision to say that he had been denied the highest Boy Scouts honour, the Eagle Scout badge.

He had previously thought that the the national Boy Scouts of America organisation would approve his application because he had completed all of the requirements, and received a recommendation for approval from a review board at his local council, and had a 460,000 strong petition in his favour.

After appearing as a guest on the Ellen Degeneres Show, the 18-year-old Boy Scout was awarded a $20,000 (£12,476) scholarship towards his college fees. Mr Andresen was also recognised by Assembly Speaker, John Perez, who is openly gay himself, at the California state Assembly

Last week, a synagogue in California became the latest in a list of religious groups to reject the Boy Scouts of America’s policy, described as “damaging”.

A father of two from Brooklyn, New York, recently started his own Boy Scouts troop, inclusive of gay members, and girls, to allow his son to be a member without having to accept the Boy Scouts of America’s anti-gay policy.

Bryan Fischer previously came to the defence of an anti-gay evangelist who is being sued for supporting a Ugandan bill to intensify punishments for homosexuality, and claimed that “the left” is trying to “destroy” him.