activism / media / off-campus / political / update

Is it true that “Scouting is for all boys,”?

Ten years ago on April 26th, the Supreme Court heard the case of the Boy Scouts of America versus former assistant Scout Master James Dale, an active member in the queer community. Dale was fired after the Boy Scouts of America uncovered a speech he made at Rutgers University as co-president of their LGBT alliance group. He was immediately fired in a document which stated that homosexuality was “contrary to the organization’s values” of keeping “morally straight”.  When Dale filed a law suit against the organization under New Jersey’s anti-discrimination law, the NJ Supreme Court ruled in his favor. Afterwards, the Boy Scouts appealed to the Supreme Court stating that forcing them to allow gay boys to become scouts was infringing on their freedom of speech and freedom of association. The Supreme Court ruled 5-4 in their favor. If you want to find out more about the situation, here are some links:

http://archives.cnn.com/2000/LAW/06/28/scotus.gay.boyscouts/

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/25/opinion/25Theroux.html?ref=opinion

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boy_Scouts_of_America

Obviously, I think that anyone wishing to join should be able to, but I am somewhat biased as both a straight ally and as a former scout that quit after this case was won. What do you think about the situation? Do you think this falls under the Boy Scouts’ First Amendment rights? How do you think previous sex abuse cases affect the organization’s argument of being “morally straight”? Were you a scout? What were some of your experiences?

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