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Scouts unbowed by Berkeley bullies
Orange County Times ^ | Feb. 28, 2003 | Harold Johnson

Posted on 02/28/2003 2:36:31 PM PST by laureldrive

Edited on 04/14/2004 10:05:53 PM PDT by Jim Robinson. [history]

We think of the frontiers of freedom as being patrolled by the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines. But these days, the Boy Scouts of America and affiliated groups also stand guard. In courtrooms across the country, they're resisting a domestic strain of tyranny - the totalitarian impulse to police thought and enforce a government-sanctioned orthodoxy on social and cultural issues.The Scouts are loathed by many self-styled progressives for transmitting a code of commitment, stressing God and country, that was supposed to be marginalized by now. But they're not giving in to bureaucratic bullies who try to force them to shed "outmoded" beliefs on matters of sex and social values. Lovers of liberty - even those who might disagree with Scouting's principles - should toast their tenacity for the First Amendment and the right not to be PC.This controversy was supposed to have been settled by the U.S. Supreme Court three years ago. In Boy Scouts of America v. Dale, a five-justice majority said that as a private, belief-based organization, the Scouts are free to craft their own membership rules; in particular, government can't order them to admit homosexuals as leaders. It follows that they're also within their rights to require that members profess a belief in God.But an alarming number of local and state officials refused to listen. In 2001, for instance, District of Columbia officials ordered the local Scouts to readmit two gays as adult leaders and pay $100,000 in damages. This decree was overturned by an appeals court, which noted that D.C. should take another look at Dale.Most of the current government assaults on the Scouts take the form of indirect coercion. There's shunning, as in San Francisco, where local judges are now barred from participating in Scouting. There's stigmatizing, as Connecticut and Portland, Ore., have attempted by excluding the Scouts from the charities that public employees may support through payroll deduction.There's also selective denial of public benefits. Berkeley leads the way by singling out the Sea Scouts for a fee to use the city's marina. After being permitted free use for 50 years, the Sea Scouts in 1998 were suddenly hit with a charge of more than $500 per month. No other nonprofit is required to pay to berth at the marina. The fee is imposed explicitly because of the Sea Scouts' affiliation with the Boy Scouts.High school teacher Eugene Evans, skipper of the Berkeley Sea Scouts' ship, pays the fee out of his pocket, so he can no longer cover membership costs for teenagers from poorer neighborhoods. Some have had to drop out.Unfortunately, a California court of appeal upheld Berkeley's punitive policy in November. The Sea Scouts have now asked the state Supreme Court to take the case. They cite the constitutional rule against "viewpoint discrimination" in the public sector. In other words, if Berkeley decides to offer free berthing to nonprofits - which it has done - it can't pick and choose recipients based on their beliefs or the beliefs of those they're associated with.Several recent "graduates" of the Berkeley Sea Scouts are now Marines stationed in the Persian Gulf. One of these young leathernecks is a plaintiff in the lawsuit against Berkeley's anti-Scout policy. All are following in a long tradition of Sea Scouts stepping forward in the nation's hours of need. More than 100,000 Sea Scouts volunteered after Pearl Harbor. Admiral Chester Nimitz reportedly said that the Sea Scouts were crucial to the Navy's ability to regroup after that disaster. But if Berkeley officials feel any remorse at targeting such a worthy group, they haven't revealed it.Today, the Boy Scouts' and Sea Scouts' fight is for the survival of a free and robust private sector, a sphere where all may choose their beliefs and affiliations without preclearance, editing or censorship by the state, and without fear of official discrimination or reprisal. For defending this basic principle of a free society, the Scouts deserve a hearty salute.


(Excerpt) Read more at 2.ocregister.com ...


TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Culture/Society; Editorial; US: California
KEYWORDS: berkeley; boyscouts; bsa; bsalist; firstamendment; seascouts
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1 posted on 02/28/2003 2:36:31 PM PST by laureldrive
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Comment #2 Removed by Moderator

To: laureldrive
Thanks for the update! Previous story on this City (Berkeley) and Scouts square off over gay rights (it's freepin time) from November (which was last I had heard anything on it).
3 posted on 02/28/2003 2:39:27 PM PST by chance33_98 (Freep On)
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To: laureldrive
 Formated for easy reading:
 
Scouts unbowed by Berkeley bullies
Thought-police bureaucrats punish group with fees that apply only to it

Pacific Legal Foundation Attorney and counsel for one of Sea Scouts challenging Berkeley's policy.

We think of the frontiers of freedom as being patrolled by the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines. But these days, the Boy Scouts of America and affiliated groups also stand guard. In courtrooms across the country, they're resisting a domestic strain of tyranny - the totalitarian impulse to police thought and enforce a government-sanctioned orthodoxy on social and cultural issues.

The Scouts are loathed by many self-styled progressives for transmitting a code of commitment, stressing God and country, that was supposed to be marginalized by now. But they're not giving in to bureaucratic bullies who try to force them to shed "outmoded" beliefs on matters of sex and social values. Lovers of liberty - even those who might disagree with Scouting's principles - should toast their tenacity for the First Amendment and the right not to be PC.

This controversy was supposed to have been settled by the U.S. Supreme Court three years ago. In Boy Scouts of America v. Dale, a five-justice majority said that as a private, belief-based organization, the Scouts are free to craft their own membership rules; in particular, government can't order them to admit homosexuals as leaders. It follows that they're also within their rights to require that members profess a belief in God.

But an alarming number of local and state officials refused to listen. In 2001, for instance, District of Columbia officials ordered the local Scouts to readmit two gays as adult leaders and pay $100,000 in damages. This decree was overturned by an appeals court, which noted that D.C. should take another look at Dale.

Most of the current government assaults on the Scouts take the form of indirect coercion. There's shunning, as in San Francisco, where local judges are now barred from participating in Scouting. There's stigmatizing, as Connecticut and Portland, Ore., have attempted by excluding the Scouts from the charities that public employees may support through payroll deduction.

There's also selective denial of public benefits. Berkeley leads the way by singling out the Sea Scouts for a fee to use the city's marina. After being permitted free use for 50 years, the Sea Scouts in 1998 were suddenly hit with a charge of more than $500 per month. No other nonprofit is required to pay to berth at the marina. The fee is imposed explicitly because of the Sea Scouts' affiliation with the Boy Scouts.

High school teacher Eugene Evans, skipper of the Berkeley Sea Scouts' ship, pays the fee out of his pocket, so he can no longer cover membership costs for teenagers from poorer neighborhoods. Some have had to drop out.

Unfortunately, a California court of appeal upheld Berkeley's punitive policy in November. The Sea Scouts have now asked the state Supreme Court to take the case. They cite the constitutional rule against "viewpoint discrimination" in the public sector. In other words, if Berkeley decides to offer free berthing to nonprofits - which it has done - it can't pick and choose recipients based on their beliefs or the beliefs of those they're associated with.

Several recent "graduates" of the Berkeley Sea Scouts are now Marines stationed in the Persian Gulf. One of these young leathernecks is a plaintiff in the lawsuit against Berkeley's anti-Scout policy. All are following in a long tradition of Sea Scouts stepping forward in the nation's hours of need. More than 100,000 Sea Scouts volunteered after Pearl Harbor. Admiral Chester Nimitz reportedly said that the Sea Scouts were crucial to the Navy's ability to regroup after that disaster. But if Berkeley officials feel any remorse at targeting such a worthy group, they haven't revealed it.

Today, the Boy Scouts' and Sea Scouts' fight is for the survival of a free and robust private sector, a sphere where all may choose their beliefs and affiliations without preclearance, editing or censorship by the state, and without fear of official discrimination or reprisal. For defending this basic principle of a free society, the Scouts deserve a hearty salute 


4 posted on 02/28/2003 2:43:54 PM PST by Rain-maker
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To: laureldrive
It is only permissable to force your beliefs on someone if the beliefs are liberal or secular in nature....
5 posted on 02/28/2003 2:44:50 PM PST by amused (Republicans for Sharpton!)
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To: Rain-maker
Why the Scouts are fighting back !
 

6 posted on 02/28/2003 2:47:19 PM PST by Rain-maker
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To: laureldrive
cour·age

NOUN:

The state or quality of mind or spirit that enables one to face danger, fear, or vicissitudes with self-possession, confidence, and resolution.

7 posted on 02/28/2003 2:49:32 PM PST by Liberal Bob
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To: Rain-maker
And their beliefs are right! Homosexuality is immoral and therefore inappropriate behavior for a scout leader. I am as likely to change my mind on that as I am to think Playboy would make good reading material for the scouts. It just is NEVER going to happen.
8 posted on 02/28/2003 3:00:23 PM PST by RAT Patrol
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To: *bsa_list
http://www.freerepublic.com/perl/bump-list
9 posted on 02/28/2003 3:04:52 PM PST by Libertarianize the GOP (Ideas have consequences)
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To: RAT Patrol
Part of being a boyscout, is being "morally straight". I don't see how being homosexual someone can be "morally straight".
10 posted on 02/28/2003 3:08:30 PM PST by Sonny M (If you want to get rid of more wellstones, just loosen the bolts, not that I did that or anything.)
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To: Sonny M
Part of being a boyscout, is being "morally straight". I don't see how being homosexual someone can be "morally straight".

Well exactly. Being homosexual is neither moral nor straight.

11 posted on 02/28/2003 3:15:45 PM PST by RAT Patrol
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To: laureldrive
Are the Sea Scouts being treated any different than any other private organization?
12 posted on 02/28/2003 6:51:19 PM PST by JoshGray
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To: JoshGray
Are the Sea Scouts being treated differently ... ?

Looks like the answer is yes, from this sentence in the article: "No other nonprofit is required to pay to berth at the marina. The fee is imposed explicitly because of the Sea Scouts' affiliation with the Boy Scouts."

13 posted on 02/28/2003 7:11:01 PM PST by laureldrive
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Comment #14 Removed by Moderator

To: laureldrive
Berkeley leads the way by singling out the Sea Scouts for a fee to use the city's marina. After being permitted free use for 50 years, the Sea Scouts in 1998 were suddenly hit with a charge of more than $500 per month. No other nonprofit is required to pay to berth at the marina.

AMENDMENT XIV: ... No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

Seems pretty clear to me. Is anyone bringing suit yet?

15 posted on 02/28/2003 8:59:52 PM PST by John Jorsett
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To: madg
I think that they were forced into this position because of the undue influence of the Mormon Church on the BSA

You're saying there was a time when the Scouts allowed open homosexuals, or atheists, as leaders -- sometime before "the unde influence of the Mormon Church" started? I say you're full of it.

As for whether they should get public benefits - - if other private organizations are allowed public benefits, the scouts can't be discriminated against merely because they have beliefs you don't agree with. Right. let's have government start discriminating against every organization that doesn't buy into your PC worldview.

16 posted on 02/28/2003 9:50:54 PM PST by laureldrive
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To: madg
For a bunch of people who want to maintain a marginal lifestyle and not be "discriminated" against, gay activists sure do demand conformity from everyone else. It's a bunch of appalling hypocrisy. They should pick on someone their own size and leave these little boys alone.
17 posted on 02/28/2003 10:21:40 PM PST by RAT Patrol
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To: laureldrive
"Non-profit" and "private" are two different things.
18 posted on 03/01/2003 3:12:18 AM PST by JoshGray
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To: RAT Patrol; madg
They should pick on someone their own size and leave these little boys alone.

See, the queers want to be left alone with someone's boy.

19 posted on 03/01/2003 3:20:58 AM PST by csvset
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To: JoshGray
Non-proft and private are two different things

Yes, and so ? The article say NO OTHER non-profit is charged the fee. This implied the Sea Scouts are a nonprofit. And unlike other nonprofits, they're being charged a fee. So that answers your earlier question of whether they're being treated differently. They ARE being treated differently from other non-profits, because Berkeley doesn't like them. Your distinction between private and nonprofit is irrelevant. It just seems you're trying to invent an argument that could justify Berkeley's policy. Apparently you don't like the Sea Scouts either.

20 posted on 03/01/2003 9:01:16 AM PST by laureldrive
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To: Rain-maker
Formated for easy reading:

Oh, now what's wrong the jack kerouac method of reading, besides the fact that it gives you a grinding headache and makes you have "Charlie Manson' moments? ...

You know, the scouts are the same people who will protect and defend the slobs who rail against them. I hereby rescind Berkely's previous declaration and make them a 'ground zero' zone.

21 posted on 03/01/2003 9:07:51 AM PST by InvisibleChurch
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Comment #22 Removed by Moderator

Comment #23 Removed by Moderator

To: madg
madg, you sure need to work on comprehension. You missed so many nuances, and so many facts, that I don't think it would be worth my time to correct them all.

A gross example of these comprehension misses would be your reply "The membership fee has been reported as SEVEN dollars per year."

The reference was to the $500 berthing fee:

"...the Sea Scouts in 1998 were suddenly hit with a charge of more than $500 per month. No other nonprofit is required to pay to berth at the marina. The fee is imposed explicitly because of the Sea Scouts' affiliation with the Boy Scouts.

24 posted on 03/01/2003 9:31:46 AM PST by HighWheeler
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Comment #25 Removed by Moderator

To: madg
The BSA is not the only entity in the land that is entitled to adhere to its own policies. On that narrow but vital point we are in total agreement. But the city, in this case, is being very hypocritical.
26 posted on 03/01/2003 10:17:52 AM PST by RAT Patrol
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To: madg
More importantly, if I myself cannot become a member of that group . . .

Of course you can be a member of "that group" (as an adult volunteer if not as a socut). What makes you believe you can't?

27 posted on 03/01/2003 10:23:26 AM PST by Kevin Curry
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To: madg; dighton; aculeus; general_re; Poohbah; hellinahandcart; L,TOWM

VARMINT CONG ALERT!!!

Another potential sleeper has awoken.

28 posted on 03/01/2003 10:28:40 AM PST by BlueLancer (Der Elite Møøsenspåånkængruppen ØberKømmååndø (EMØØK))
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To: BlueLancer
I think you may be correct on the Cong Alert sleeper theory. madg signed up 2001-12-01, but the sleeper cell recently awoke on 2-24-03.

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/finduser?user=madg

Since the sleeper cell awoke, he has fully defended the liberal gay agenda to the hilt while simultaneously attacking every point of liberty, privacy, rights, and constitutionality made by others.
29 posted on 03/01/2003 10:46:06 AM PST by HighWheeler
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To: madg
Are you claiming that the entire city of Berkeley is composed of "gay activists?" Or that all the hundreds or thousands of other municipalities, organizations, and corporations with anti-discrimination laws and policies are ALL composed of "gay activists?" The BSA is not the only entity in the land that is entitled to adhere to its own policies.

Yeah, well they seem to be calling the shots in Berkeley on this issue. And at the United Way, too, among others.

Seems to me that the BSA is damned either way: Let known homosexuals become scout leaders, and open yourself up to pedophile lawsuits; or deny known homosexuals the ability to become scout leaders, and Berkeley, United Way, ad nauseum, take away their merit badges.

30 posted on 03/01/2003 10:49:47 AM PST by Mr Ducklips
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Comment #31 Removed by Moderator

Comment #32 Removed by Moderator

Comment #33 Removed by Moderator

Comment #34 Removed by Moderator

To: laureldrive
Just goes to show the lefts much-vaunted and oft repeated declarations of "tolerance" and "diversity" is a complete sham.
35 posted on 03/01/2003 1:06:14 PM PST by Freedom4US
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Comment #36 Removed by Moderator

To: madg
It is a matter of public knowledge that I am a gay man.

Then it isn't you who is unwelcome. It is your behavior choice that is unwelcome.

So, let me ask you again: what makes you believe that you are unwelcome?

37 posted on 03/01/2003 1:15:34 PM PST by Kevin Curry
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To: madg
"But your last comments are untrue, unfair, and offensive."

You see it that way because you have a proven rudimentary level of reading comprehension.

The Boy Scouts have a 501(c)3 non-profit charter directly authorized by Congress. They are being treated differently because of discrimination by certain groups like ACLU, Berkeley City Council of Socialists, and GLAAD.

Why do liberal groups have to horn in on everyone else's PRIVATE party? They are not welcome, they are not invited, yet they insist on ruining PRIVATE organizations only to satify their selfish little point that American people endowed with freedom of association choose to not associate with these types of people. That is exactly why you are a socialist.

Why don't the members of GLAAD start their own Gay NAMBLA Boy Scouts group, and see how many parents approve of the weekend camping trips? Please don't tell me how the merit badges would be earned, either.

38 posted on 03/01/2003 1:39:28 PM PST by HighWheeler
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bump
39 posted on 03/01/2003 1:45:30 PM PST by Non-Sequitur
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To: madg
...what Harold calls "government assaults" are actually municipal policies... Is the BSA the only entity in existence entitled to adhere to its own policies?....

Whose policies do you think it should adhere to, Madg?

40 posted on 03/01/2003 1:51:31 PM PST by Byron_the_Aussie
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Comment #41 Removed by Moderator

To: madg
..when they are open to all taxpayers, then taxpayer funds can be used...

I'm sure your condemnation is consistent, and fair. But, a question?

Are there any organisations currently funded by Berkeley, that aren't open to all taxpayers?

42 posted on 03/01/2003 1:58:28 PM PST by Byron_the_Aussie
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Comment #43 Removed by Moderator

To: madg
... a five-justice majority...

Read: "By the slimmest possible margin."

Wouldn't a one-justice minority be the 'slimmest possible margin', Madg?

44 posted on 03/01/2003 2:01:53 PM PST by Byron_the_Aussie
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Comment #45 Removed by Moderator

Comment #46 Removed by Moderator

To: madg
.."To Each His Own." That means that the Sea Scouts have to pay for berthing privileges....

Got a link for that, Madg?

I can't find anything, on Google. Thanks in advance, By.

47 posted on 03/01/2003 2:05:17 PM PST by Byron_the_Aussie
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To: madg
..I said I was gay... I didn't say anything about how I choose to behave...

Should we deduce anything, from your posts?

48 posted on 03/01/2003 2:07:15 PM PST by Byron_the_Aussie
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To: madg
..if taxpayer funds are used then it should be open to all....

Does that still hold, if the taxpayer funds are already being used preferentially?

49 posted on 03/01/2003 2:08:30 PM PST by Byron_the_Aussie
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Comment #50 Removed by Moderator


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