Friday, May 07, 2010

BSA case in San Diego (public accomodations and GLBT) draws attention of religious right

The Boy Scouts are back off the metaphoric Bunsen burner, with an op-ed in The Washington Times in Commentary on Friday May 7, “Court puts Boy Scouts in a moral quandary: Supremes have a duty to stand up for justice,” link here, by Robert Knight (Coral Ridge Ministries).

The case involves the exclusion of BSA in 2003 from Balboa Park in San Diego, which forbade them from meeting because of discriminatory policies, partly reinforced by the BSA’s pyrrhic victory in the James Dale case, which is beginning to look like an unwise pawn grab in a chess game, from BSA’s viewpoint, at least. In many communities, the Boy Scouts have been barred from using or even renting publicly owned spaces because of discriminatory policies (on homosexuality and probably atheism or agnosticism), which are not supposed to be supported by taxpayer money. The ACLU has filed a suit for a lesbian couple and an agnostic couple. I could not find the ACLU brief on their site yet.

Knight argues that the BSA is not really a religious organization, and then wavers into to talking about the scandal in the Catholic Church. He writes then “either they drop their moral standard and put boys and their own legal survival at risk, or they face endless harassment designed to bankrupt them.” Chess is a good analogy for life sometimes.

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