Boy Scout Decision Reaction

July 7, 2008 - 8:02 PM

There are more details this morning about yesterday's controversial unanimous state Supreme Court ruling in New Jersey. The court said the Boy Scout organization does not have a right to exclude someone because of their homosexuality. Basically, the justices rejected the Boy Scouts' argument that it is a private organization and that its decision to expel homosexual assistant scout master James Dale nine years ago was a First Amendment right. But the court went further. It dismissed the Scout's contention that homosexuality is immoral. In her decision, Chief Justice Deborah Poritz wrote that Dale's dismissal from the Scouts was based on little more than prejudice, and went on to refer to such exclusions as bigotry. Justice Alan Handler wrote, "One particular stereotype that we renounce today is that homosexuals are inherently immoral." He also concluded that the Scout's legal contention that homosexuality is immoral is out of touch with current law, public policy and social mores. Meanwhile, the New York Times says New Jersey Republican Governor Christie Todd Whitman praised the court's ruling yesterday. She said a person's sexual orientation is a private matter, and that "if a troop leader is a good leader, there's no reason to worry."

And across the country in California, the American Civil Liberties Union and the Tom Homann Law Association are demanding that the city of San Diego quit subsidizing the Boy Scouts as long as the organization discriminates because of sexual orientation and religion. The ACLU and Homann group are also demanding that the mayor and City Council terminate the city's lease with the Boy Scouts, where the organization is allowed to operate their headquarters in city-owned Balboa Park for $1 a year as well as receive rent-free use of city-owned property on Fiesta Island. See Related Story.

For more information go to the American Family Association.