Why The Boy Scouts are Allowed to Exclude Gays
The Boy Scouts of America have released a compromise on the issue of allowing openly gay members. The matter will be voted on at the organization’s national council meeting next month.
The Boy Scouts have decided that it is fair to allow openly gay scouts, but will continue to prohibit gay men from holding leadership positions within the organization. The compromise would allow gay boys to be active in the scouts, but will bar them from one day leading a troop of their own, effectively giving homosexual members an expiration date on their memberships.
The organization is allowed to do what many people view as discriminate against gays because of the First Amendment, which guarantees the right to free association. This specific issue was weighed by the Supreme Court in the year 2000. The court’s ruling said that if the government obligated the Boy Scouts to allow gays, it would be infringing on the group’s freedom of association rights. This is only lawful for certain kinds of groups that engage in what is known as “expressive activity.”
If it were up to the organization, it would continue to disallow gays in all capacities. However, its decisions continue to receive both backlash and praise from different sections of the public. The organization is trying to balance its image to maintain its crucial corporate sponsors.