Guest / Limited Access /

Boy Scouts don't have to allow gay scoutmasters In a 5-4 decision, the Supreme Court ruled yesterday that requiring the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) to admit homosexual scout leaders "violates the Boy Scouts' First Amendment right of expressive association" as it "would significantly burden the organization's right to oppose or disfavor homosexual conduct." Then there's the ruling's not-that-there's-anything-wrong-with-that clause: "In so ruling, the Court is not guided by its view of whether the Boy Scouts' teachings with respect to homosexual conduct are right or wrong; public or judicial disapproval of an organization's expression does not justify the State's effort to compel the organization to accept members in derogation of the organization's expressive message." (Actually, that's more than just a statement assuring everyone that the Court's down with gays. The New Jersey Supreme Court had ruled that judicial disapproval did justify forcing the scouts to allow gay scoutmasters, saying such a ban was based "on little more than prejudice.") In the dissenting opinion, John Paul Stevens wrote that requiring the Boy Scouts to allow gay leaders "does not impose any serious burdens on BSA's … shared goals, nor does it force BSA to communicate any message that it does not wish to endorse." (See the Supreme Court decision and dissent in Acrobat format at the official Supreme Court site, or in HTML here.) For media coverage, see The Washington Post, The New York Times, The Washington Times, The [Newark] Star-Ledger (with sidebars on James Dale's reaction and judicialreasoning), and The [Baltimore] Sun. Christianity Today's earlier coverage of the case is available here.Partial-birth abortion ban struck down In ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe now. Subscribers have full digital access.

Tags:
Read These NextSee Our Latest
TrendingFive Errors to Drop From Your Easter Sermon
Five Errors to Drop From Your Easter Sermon
If you want to help people see Holy Week with fresh eyes, start by dropping these familiar fallacies.
Editor's PickWatch and Wait
Watch and Wait
Tarrying with Christ and the fearful dying.
Leave a Comment

Use your Christianity Today login to leave a comment on this article. Not part of the community? Subscribe now, or register for a free account.

hide thisAccess The Archives

In the Archives

June 2000

To continue reading, subscribe now for full print and digital access.