A new Washington Post-ABC News poll shows 63% of Americans support allowing gay scouts to join the Boy Scouts of America.

The poll also shows 56% are in favour of lifting the ban on gay adult leaders; while 39% oppose the move.

Support from Catholics for removing the gay adult ban is at 56%, however, it rises to 75% among people who identify as atheist, agnostic or nothing in particular.

In April, the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) announced it would propose to members of its National Council at a meeting in Texas later this month of lifting the ban on gay youth scouts, but maintaining a ban on gay adult leaders.

But the compromise angered equality leaders.

Peter Morales, president of the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) said: “It falls short of ensuring equality for gay scout leaders.

“Unitarian Universalists remain hopeful that there is still time to persuade the BSA to move from discrimination and prejudice to inclusion and respect for all Americans who wish to participate in scouting.”

Earlier this month, the Western Los Angeles branch of the BSA voiced its opposition to the discriminatory policy.

The council is backing a resolution which states that no youth or adult should be excluded “as a leader, volunteer or staff member solely based on their sexual orientation or preference.”