The Boy Scouts' national board will vote Wednesday on whether to replace the ban on gays with a policy allowing groups that sponsor local troops to decide whether to admit gay members.

Churches or other civic groups that do not tolerate homosexuality could still require troops they sponsor to discriminate. Others could be more welcoming. Boys and their parents, meanwhile, could find a troop that best fits their views.

This cautious plan is not exactly bold moral leadership. The organization appears to be bowing to pressure from public petition drives and big donors who oppose discrimination, while trying not to alienate socially conservative members and sponsors.

Over the past few years, the country has shifted, much faster than once seemed possible, away from centuries of injustice based on sexual orientation. There can be only one moral and practical conclusion to this process -- an end to official discrimination against gays and lesbians.

Since the Boy Scouts are a venerable American institution, we are rooting for them to get to the right place.