FW: Commentary from today's Chicago Sun-Times
Greg and Joanne Healy (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Sat Mar 07 01:46:55 1998
Wow - heavy stuff here! I don't quite know what the situation is in Australia regarding homosexuality, but it could sure get messy eh? Personally, I don't think a person should be dis-allowed in the movement unless there is just cause for him/her not being there. By just cause, I mean that he/she is teaching/encouraging the youth members the wrong things. Who cares if someone is gay - so long as he/she is not doing the wrong thing. But hey - I don't want to open up a can of worms here... No wonder Mr Dale didn't want to come out and tell everyone!
Leaders - North Kambah Nudgee Venturers
(Canberra - Australia)
From: Troiano, John [SMTP:Troiano@First-Chair.COM]
Sent: Wednesday, 4 March 1998 19:13
To: Multiple recipients of list
Subject: Commentary from today's Chicago Sun-Times
>Scout's honor doesn't mean much if leader doesn't honor rules
>March 4, 1998
>BY DENNIS BYRNE SUN-TIMES COLUMNIST
>From New Jersey comes this nutty new legal principle: The Boy Scouts of
>America must accept as a leader someone who doesn't live by the group's
>That's the heart of the 2-1 decision by a New Jersey appeals court, which on
>Monday said the group had to hire back an avowed homosexual to be a Scout
>leader, despite the organization's beliefs that homosexuality is wrong.
>The court said the leader, James Dale, is just as qualified as the next
>heterosexual to teach the Scouts' (homophobic?) traditions. ``Nothing before
>us even suggests that a male, simply because he is gay, will somehow
>undermine [the Scouts'] fundamental beliefs and teachings.'' Just as, I
>suppose, an ordained woman, ordered by a court into the Roman Catholic
>clergy, would in no way undermine the church's fundamental beliefs and
>Added the court, Dale's ``exemplary journey through the Boy Scouts of America
>ranks as testament enough that these stereotypical notions about homosexuals
>must be rejected.''
>Wait. Here's a guy who, as he rose through the ranks to a leadership
>position, secretly defied the Scouts' rules, and that behavior is exemplary?
>The Scouts didn't know he was gay until they read it in a newspaper. This is
>being honest and trustworthy? This is a good way to teach boys that you
>should live your beliefs? That you shouldn't say one thing and do another?
>So now what, if Dale decides to return as a Scout leader? Will he teach the
>boys the complete Scouting agenda, including how homosexuality is wrong? Will
>he say it's wrong, believing otherwise? Will he say it in front of boys who
>now know that he believes otherwise?
>Or will he be honest, and say homosexuality is fine, even though it violates
>the principles of the organization he is speaking for? And if he says
>homosexuality is fine, could the Scouts then fire him because he's teaching
>something contrary to the group's beliefs? Would he sue again, asserting that
>his free speech rights were violated? Would a court then again force him back
>on the Scouts, ordering the group to let him say what he wants?
>And would the court, as it came perilously close to doing on Monday, rule
>that the beliefs of many of those who compose the Scouts are invalid, if not
>illegal? That judges, and not parents, should decide what is morally right
>for their children?
>What if parents, not wanting a homosexual as their sons' role model, pull out
>of the Scouts and establish a similar organization based on their beliefs?
>Will the court also rule this new organization out of order, as it would the
>next one, and the next, ad infinitum?
>The court on Monday ruled the Scouts can't ``discriminate'' against Dale
>because the group is a ``public accommodation,'' just like a McDonald's or a
>Motel 6. This is as loopy as it gets. Unless they do things differently in
>Jersey, I know of no one who checks into a Motel 6 because its very essence
>is to postulate a series of rules to live by that take years to learn. Or who
>eats at a McDonald's because along with the Big Mac comes a pledge he can
>take, on his honor, to do his best, for God and country.
>It doesn't matter to me if the Scouts let in homosexuals. Nor do I propose to
>argue here that homosexuality is immoral; suffice to say that legions of
>Americans still believe it is, and under the Constitution they should be able
>to freely form associations that embrace, if not nurture, that belief.
>The Scouts are not arguing, nor am I, that gays should not be allowed to form
>their own organizations, even if they discriminate against the heterosexual
>viewpoint. Or that others can form associations in which homosexuality isn't
>a test of membership.
>But what the court has done in New Jersey goes way beyond that. The court
>hasn't simply declared who must be members of a private association; it also
>has ruled who shall lead that organization. That assaults more than the right
>of parents to decide how their children will be reared. It also assaults
>every American's right of association and conscience.
>Dennis Byrne is a member of the Sun-Times editorial board. E-mail: