SAN FRANCISCO -- California's judicial branch is seeking public comment on a proposed rule that would prohibit judges from belonging to the Boy Scouts of America on grounds that the group discriminates against gays.

In 1996 the state Supreme Court banned judges from belonging to groups that discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation, but made an exception for nonprofit youth organizations. The Los Angeles Times says (http://lat.ms/MxyuY5 ) the decision was made to accommodate judges who serve as leaders for their sons' troops.

An ethics advisory committee said Wednesday that eliminating the exception would enhance public confidence in the judiciary.

The Boy Scouts allows the participation of openly gay boys but continues to prohibit gay and lesbian adults from serving as leaders.

The public has until April 15 to weigh in.

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Information from: Los Angeles Times, http://www.latimes.com