Skip to comments.Boy Scouts face setback in Supreme Court
Posted on 10/17/2006 7:11:14 AM PDT by presidio9
Six years after the Supreme Court ruled the Boy Scouts could ban gay leaders, the group is fighting and losing legal battles with state and local governments over its discriminatory policies.
The latest setback came Monday when the high court without comment refused to take a case out of Berkeley, Calif., in which a Scouts sailing group lost free use of a public marina because the Boy Scouts bar atheists and gays.
The action let stand a unanimous California Supreme Court ruling that the city of Berkeley may treat the Berkeley Sea Scouts differently from other nonprofit organizations because of the Scouts' membership policies.
Two years ago, the court similarly rejected a Boy Scouts appeal of a case from Connecticut, where officials dropped the group from a list of charities that receive donations from state employees through a payroll deduction plan.
And in Philadelphia, the city is threatening to evict a Boy Scout council from the group's publicly owned headquarters or make the group pay rent unless it changes its policy on gays.
On a separate matter, federal judges in two other court cases that are being appealed have ruled that government aid to the group is unconstitutional because the Boy Scouts of America requires members to swear an oath of duty to God.
Despite the string of legal setbacks, lawyers for the Scouts said they believe the Supreme Court ultimately will decide that governments are improperly denying benefits that they make available to similar organizations.
"The issue of governments seeking to punish organizations for exercising their First Amendment rights is a recurring one. There will be other opportunities for the Supreme Court to affirm First Amendment protections for organizations dealing with government agencies," George Davidson, the longtime attorney for the Scouts, said in a statement.
Duke University law professor Erwin Chemerinsky agreed that the justices probably have not had their last say on the Boy Scouts and may be waiting until lower courts disagree on the issue.
"This is about when governments can impose requirements for getting government benefits," Chemerinsky said.
In 2000, the court ruled that the Scouts have the right to ban openly homosexual scout leaders, a decision that rested on First Amendment rights.
"The Boy Scouts asserts that homosexual conduct is inconsistent with the values it seeks to instill," then-Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist wrote for the court in a 5-4 decision.
Even so, the California Supreme Court said in March that local governments are under no obligation to extend benefits to organizations that discriminate.
Berkeley, home of free speech protests since the 1960s, adopted a nondiscrimination policy on the use of its marina in 1997 and revoked the Sea Scouts' subsidy a year later.
The Sea Scouts are a branch of the Boy Scouts. They teach sailing, carpentry and plumbing. City officials had told the group that it could retain its berthing subsidy if it broke ties with the Boy Scouts or disavowed the policy against gays and atheists, but the Sea Scouts refused.
Eugene Evans, who leads the Sea Scouts, has been paying $500 a month to berth one boat at the Berkeley Marina. The group removed two other boats because it could not afford the rent. The group has about 40 members, down from as many as 100 before the subsidy was removed.
Berkeley had allowed the Scouts free use of the marina since the 1930s, according to Evans.
The Sea Scouts said they were singled out because Berkeley's elected officials disapprove of the Boy Scouts' membership policies.
The case is Evans v. City of Berkeley, 06-40.
So instead of blaming a Communist government and legal system for this, are you saying the Boy Scouts should be suing their own lawyer for his/her incompetence?
"Show me just what Mohammed brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached." -Manuel II Paleologus
Those that have worked to neuter American men feel they're quite successful, and now target our sons.
Possibly, but that's a moot point, because it DOES, in fact exist. As long as it exists, the Scouts have as much right to it as any other organized group.
Girl Scouts was lost years ago. New-age psycobabble abounds there.
I thought about that. They definitely used the word to make an emotional point. But the AP statement is technically accurate. The policy is discriminatory. It is not morally, ethically, or legally wrong per se to discriminate in hiring. It depends on the nature of the thing and what group is involved.
Since the Boy Scouts discriminate against instating openly gay leaders, isn't that like the policy of the U.S. military (don't ask, don't tell)?
All the more reason to raise our sons outside the grasp of any government or government-sponsored organization, right?
Now's a great time to make that point. Repeatedly.
As far as the activists, the book "After the Ball: How America Will Conquer Its Fear and Hatred of Gays in the 90's" laid out the plan that is working so effectively for them.
Be careful what you wish for. Whenever the subject of a private organization's access to public assets comes up, I always present a hypothetical scenario in which a radical Islamic sect wants the same access to these public facilities as an organization like the Boy Scouts.
Not in our homeschool Girl Scout troop. We start each meeting with the pledge, including "under God," and a patriotic song, usually "God Bless America." The Girl Scouts as a national organization is fairly PC, but that can be easily mitigated by the moms running the troop.
How ironic is it that people like that bunch of Muslim cab drivers who refuse to pick up passengers with alcohol and passengers with dogs may end up being this country's best line of defense against this radical homosexual agenda?
I wasn't aware that they had built a breakwater.
Any chance that they can sue Berkley for the value (or the cost) of the breakwater...then use the money to buy dock spaces?
Yep. And for an understanding of what's happened to our public schools, we must go back to mid-1900's The Frankfurt School and those peoples' plan. That's where the plan to subvert government schools and the tools of consensus building and sensitivity training were conceived. This stuff didn't just happen.
This was the appeal to SCOTUS, which refused to hear the case.
"The action let stand a unanimous California Supreme Court ruling".
did you see this?
And what makes you think the America-haters in Berkeley would have the slightest problem with a radical Islamic group?
They'll fear the radical Islamic group in a way that they would never fear ordinary Americans.
They should, as they would be first on the religion of peace hit-list, but they don't. Hating Bush and anything associated with him is more important to them.
Actually, they are. "1 a : the act of discriminating b : the process by which two stimuli differing in some aspect are responded to differently 2 : the quality or power of finely distinguishing."
On the one hand, you have the a hoterosexual scout master. OTOH, a homosexual. Responding to those situations differently is the essence of discrimination.
The left has twisted the language. Intuitively, folks respond to the word discrimination as a bad thing. But the ability to tell the difference between good and evil is precisely what the left seeks by attacking the word "discrimination."
Discrimination exercised wisely is a good thing. Discrimation exercised foolishly . . .