scouts-l Mail Archive for June of 2000: Suprem Court Ruling in
Wed Jun 28 2000 - 10:05:06 CDT
U.S. Supreme Court upholds Boy Scouts on gay ban
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A closely divided Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that
the Boy Scouts may exclude gays from serving as troop leaders.
In a setback for gay rights advocates, the justices by a 5-4 vote overturned
a New Jersey Supreme Court ruling that the dismissal of a gay Scout leader
had been illegal under the state's anti-discrimination law.
The Boy Scouts, which also exclude atheists and agnostics as leaders, said it
has the right to decide who can join its ranks. Forcing it to accept gays
would violate its constitutional right of freedom of association and free
speech under the First Amendment, it said.
Chief Justice William Rehnquist agreed. He said for the court majority that
applying a state public accommodations law to require the Boy Scouts to admit
a gay troop leader violates the group's constitutional right of expressive
He added, however, ``We are not, as we must not be, guided by our views of
whether the Boy Scouts' teaching with respect to homosexual conduct are right