James Dale Hub

Gay Former Boy Scout and Supreme Court Plaintiff James Dale Speaks Out Against Ban: VIDEO


James Dale, the gay former Boy Scout who took his case all the way to the Supreme Court in 2000 (Boy Scouts of America v. Dale) and lost by one vote, speaks out in a new video about his case and efforts to end the ban on gay scouts and leaders in the organization.


The Boy Scouts are currently meeting in Dallas and will take an internal vote on ending the ban.

Continue reading "Gay Former Boy Scout and Supreme Court Plaintiff James Dale Speaks Out Against Ban: VIDEO" »

The Boy Scouts Made It Worse


The headline, "Boy Scouts Move to Allow Gay Members," read with such promise. Including gays in the Boy Scouts has been a goal of our community for decades, most notably since James Dale challenged the Scouts' discriminatory policies in the 1990s. A sharply divided Supreme Court rejected Mr. Dale's challenge, but more recently, an avalanche of factors -- demographic shifts; concerted activism from Boy Scouts themselves and their families; rapid change in the acceptance of gays and marriage equality; and, strong pro-equality support from President Obama, his Democratic allies, and even some Republicans, to name just a few -- has forced the Boy Scouts to reconsider its exclusionary policies. Last week, the Scouts did change its policy... for the worse.

Bsa"No youth may be denied membership in the Boy Scouts of America on the basis of sexual orientation or preference alone," say the Scouts. This change comes after reminding us that "youth are still developing, learning about themselves and who they are, developing their sense of right and wrong, and understanding their duty to God to live a moral life." The youth proviso means that gay kids are ok, but gay men cannot serve in any leadership positions. So, if you stick around the Scouts for long enough and refuse to "understand [your] duty to God to live a moral life," i.e., stop being gay, you're out of the Scouts. 

Allowing gay scouts seems like a step forward. But the exclusive focus on gay youth proves that this "step forward" is anything but a good thing. In fact, it's the worst possible result and shows the Scouts' true anti-gay colors. Gay kids are being let into the Boy Scouts not because the Scouts recognize the inherent equality of all American youth, but rather to more directly implement the organization's anti-gay dogma. This begs the question: Is the new Boy Scout policy both unjust and unconstitutional? The Scouts' policy was always unconstitutional, despite what the Supreme Court has said. Let's discuss why.

Continued, AFTER THE JUMP...

Follow me at @ariezrawaldman.

Continue reading "The Boy Scouts Made It Worse" »

James Dale, Plaintiff in 2000 Supreme Court Case, Calls on Scouts to Drop the Gay Ban

James Dale, the plaintiff in the 2000 Supreme Court case Boy Scouts of America v. Dale, writes about the reasons he challenged the Scouts.

DaleAnd the letter from the Scouts revoking his membership that set things in motion:

With this one letter, the work to which I had dedicated more than half of my young life came completely undone. I was devastated. Yet, it was precisely the sense of leadership, respect, equality and community that the Scouts had instilled in me that would not allow me to accept this injustice, done not just to me but to countless other young gay people who had found a home in the Boy Scouts of America. Not fighting my expulsion from the Scouts would have been a betrayal of all I’d learned in the Scouts....

...If sexual issues are not brought up in the Scouting environment — and in my experience, they never were, until an outside party publicized my homosexuality — that’s all the more reason that it should not matter if some members happen to be gay. It has no impact on their ability to earn an American heritage merit badge, join the Order of the Arrow or achieve lifelong Eagle Scout status.

Why did I challenge the Boy Scouts’ anti-gay policy? Because I am a loyal Scout. [wapo]


Towleroad - Blogged