Gay Leaders Can Be Barred from Boy Scouts

Gay rights activists received a blow today when the Supreme Court ruled that because the Boy Scouts oppose homosexual conduct, they are not required to accept gay scoutmasters in their organization. In 1990 when the Scouts found out that Assistant Scoutmaster James Dale was gay, they ousted him from his position claiming that homosexual conduct is “inconsistent with the values it seeks to instill.” A New Jersey state court ruled that the Boy Scouts’ action violated a law banning discrimination in public accommodation but the 5-4 Supreme Court decision said that forcing the Boy Scouts to accept gay troop leaders would violate the organization’s rights of free expression and free association.

Eleanor Smeal, president of the Feminist Majority Foundation, was appalled by the ruling. “This tragic decision of the Supreme Court will not stand the test of time because, if history tells us anything, those who stand in the doorway using bigotry to bar entry for one generation will have to apologize to the next,” exclaimed Smeal.


Feminist Majority Foundation and The Washington Post - 28 June 2000

Support eh ERA banner