Scouts-L Mail Archive for August of 1999: Re: New Jersey Decision
Re: New Jersey Decision
nathan alan beauheim
Fri, 6 Aug 1999 07:11:00 -0600
On Thu, 5 Aug 1999, Randy Finder wrote:
> On Thu, 5 Aug 1999, nathan alan beauheim wrote:
> > On Thu, 5 Aug 1999, Joseph Macone wrote:
> > <snip>
> > > I'm not a lawyer, so this may be a dumb question, but, if a sponsor denies
> > > an adult a leadership position because he's gay, what legal action does that
> > > open the sponsor up to, if any?
> > >
> > I don't see why it would open the sponsor to any legal action at all.
> > Right now, a unit can deny ANYONE for ANY reason, or even not have a
> > reason at all. This is one of the reasons that you can have an all-LDS,
> > all-Jewish, all-Martian troop if you want to. To the best of my
> Well it isn't *quite* that clear. Due to the history of the separate Negro
> districts within BSA councils in the south up to the '60s, BSA is very
> sensitive about small towns ending up with separate white and black
> troops. Unfortunately this can often be caused by the two churches in the
> town (say Baptist and AME-Zion) doing their own troops.
> OTOH, just about any other membership rule you'd like BSA would probably
> let you get away with. If those two churches decided to make two
> integrated troops and to make sure they didn't go back to split by race by
> having one take those with last names a-K and the other L-Z, BSA would
> probably allow it. :)
This isn't the best message to reply to, but the some of the best ones
were private. It seems pretty clear to me that some people just don't
understand what I was trying to say. Let's look at some 3-G cases real
quick (off the top of my head):
CA-The Atheist twins. They belonged to a troop. Or, at least, they had a
troop that would be willing to have them, despite their atheism. COUNCIL
said no, not the troop.
NJ-The most recent case. Mr. Hale was in a troop. Whether the troop
would have been willing to have him along despite his homosexuality was
never really made clear here, though apparently they were happy since they
kept him on their charter. Again, the COUNCIL said no, not the troop.
See a trend developing here? When we go to court over one of these cases,
these individuals already have found a unit thats willing to accept them,
when COUNCIL says no. What if Mr. Hale had turned 18, and his troop had
said, well, you were a good scout, but we don't want you as a leader? He
wouldn't have had much recourse. What if every troop in the twins
district had said, nope, we're full up?
If you don't want someone as a leader, there's a real simple way to do it:
You have your IH reject the application, and not put his/her signature on
it. And notice, there's no space for them to put a reason for rejection
on it. Why? Because they DON'T NEED A REASON!
Have we lost that right (yes, right) in NJ? No, I don't think so. What
NJ is saying (assuming it stands, a big assumption at this point IMHO), is
that COUNCIL (acting as National's agent) can't discriminate because of
As another random thoughts on this subject, one of the questions I get
asked the most when people find out that I belong to BSA, does BSA
discriminate (given all the recent court cases), and I have to say, "Yes,
BSA discriminates based on gender, sexual orientation, and religion."
Guess, what, I don't like having to say that, but, because I'm an honest
person, I do say that. Maybe the way you were raised it's okay to do
that. That's not the way I was raised, and I can't say I'm happy having
(yes HAVING) to do it.
What do I want? I want to be able to accept anyone into my troop,
regardless of any and all factors. And, I want to be able to reject
anyone, regardless of any and all factors. (While I'm putting my asbestos
on, let me say that because I want to accept anyone, DOES NOT mean I WILL
ASM, Troop 459
Great Southwest Council
...who really needs to stop reading his email and get ready for work...
> Randy Finder
> Leadership, Friendship and Service - Alpha Phi Omega