scouts-l Mail Archive for May of 2000: Scouting for Membership Numbers
Mike Montalvo (mike_montalvo@YAHOO.COM
Sun May 14 2000 - 11:38:23 CDT
Bill Nelson said,
> The Supreme Court is not deciding if the BSA is a private or
> public institution. It is deciding: Whether a state law requiring a
> Boy Scout Troop to appoint an avowed homosexual and gay rights
> activist as an Assistant Scoutmaster responsible for communicating
> Boy Scouting's moral
> values to youth members abridges First Amendment rights of freedom
> of speech and freedom of association.
I believe you're responding to this second sentence below, but since
you didn't quote it...
"On April 26, 2000 the U.S. Supreme Court in consideration of Dale vs.
Boy Scouts of America was confronted with a riddle worthy of the
mythological Sphinx of ancient times.
The untangling of this riddle may hinge on consideration of the Boy
Scouts of America as being a private or public institution."
1. Notice the riddle is *not* whether or not the BSA is private or
public, but rather it is a factor that *may* help them address the
Do you understand that distinction and the qualification of "may"?
The BSA most certainly thinks it's a consideration or why would they
(and others) got thru the steps of including it in their briefs?:
BSA Brief to SCOUTUS, page 3: "Almost 65 percent of Boy Scout Troops
are sponsored by churches or synagogues, more than 25 percent are
chartered to private community organizations, and fewer than 10 percent
are chartered to public institutions."
2. The clarification letter to James Dale of 8/10/90 said:
"The grounds for this membership revocation are the standards for
leadership established by the Boy Scouts of America, which specifically
forbid membership to homosexuals." - James W. Kay
The wording you used above ("avowed homosexual and gay rights
activist") is how the BSA has now couched it's brief/argument, not how
it was communicated to James Dale in the clarification of dismissal
Dale's brief reads:
"This case concerns the Boy Scouts of America's decision to expel James
Dale from membership because he is gay."
Which of these statements, the BSA's or Dales, most closely coincides
with the reasons stated in the clarification of dismissal letter?
The "policy" seems to be as clear as mud and the SCOTUS judges seemed
to realize this in their questioning.
>The size of the organization, it was decided by the NJ court, does not
>make any difference.
>Again, it does not matter as far as the Supreme Court case is
You're fixating on size when *that* was not the point.
Those were examples of inaccurate membership numbers that included
Learning for Life.
It's important that the BSA, Greg Shields and his PR firm not respond
with inaccurate numbers and lump it's separate Learning for Life
program in with Scouts when addressing this issue.
Especially given the fact that they say in court it's disingenous of
others to do that when discussing the traditional Scouting program.
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