I guess only time will tell eh?
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- Jul 2012
I think Sentinel is right that some organizations will not want to retain the anti-gay policy, but that Beavah is also right that some will.
So if a group did want to retain the policy, shouldn't they just go ahead and adopt the principles that the BSA had? If it was legal for the BSA, and a group has the same goals and beliefs that the BSA formerly stated, wouldn't it continue to be legal for that particular chartered organization?
This may well be the issue that kills off a lot of troops. I'm not trying to be alarmist here, honestly. But life is not about who's right, it's about who's left standing after the legal battle.
The problem with all the claims that have been posted that "Well, the Supreme Court Dale decision will back the COs" or "Well, if the CO is a religious organization they will be allowed to discriminate" is this:
It does not matter whether they have a good case or not, if the individual who is suing you, (whether you are a SM or member of the CO) is backed by a political action group with sufficient capital and time. If any of you have ever been in a protracted civil suit, you will know what I mean. The legal fees can bankrupt you, your personal life will become public knowledge and you will be (in this case) crucified in the local and possibly national press, your hours will become an endless cycle of depositions, everything you ever posted on the Internet and every perceived indiscretion in your past will be dissected in the media, etc. Your legal opponents will be backed by zealots and true believers, and legal interns who will be happy to work overtime to bring you down, as it will look great on their CV. You may win, but you will end up wishing you had just acquiesced. Or maybe died. Did you volunteer to work for the Scouts so all that could happen? Or will you a) quit and/or b) compromise your beliefs and just let them do what they want.
If BSA doesn't see an upside in covering your legal costs, will your CO's attorneys cover your legal costs against the (quite considerable) resources of the LGBT Legal Defense Fund and the ACLU and whoever else wants to join in to make an example of you? Maybe. But a lot of such decisions wind up being made by insurance companies, who could care less about the actual merits of the case and look at settling as a strict cost/benefits problem, regardless of your wishes. A settlement out of court where your/the CO's insurance company stipulates that you are a discriminatory and horrible person could be entered without your consent. Or will the COs just decide to jettison the troop to avoid the financial problems.
Let me be very clear - the merits of your case don't matter if you're not willing to absorb the legal costs of defending yourself in a civil suit against a well-funded opponent.
That's been my experience with friends who have been the targets in high-profile civil suits. Stress-related diseases, broken friendships, strained marriages, and empty bank accounts are likely results. I'm not an attorney. I'd be interested to hear what Beavah thinks as a litigator.
If BSA does NOT clearly state that they are willing to continue to legally defend local troops under the new rules, what protection does that leave you?
That is why many people who have moral objections to the new rules will leave - they won't be able to afford the fight.
As far as the issue of whether a religious organization can discriminate, well, look at the arguments the administration is making about whether an organization or business is "religious" or not to satisfy the demands to provide abortfacients and contraceptives to employees under ObamaCare. A Catholic Church? Okay? A Catholic Hospital? No. The standard the administration is using is so restrictive that a BSA troop which is sponsored by a church is not likely to be considered part of the church under the ObamaCare rules. (The forthcoming SCOTUS decision on healthcare may or not make a difference - this is likely to be deal-changer for the Dale decision.) Is every member Catholic (or whatever)? The LDS troops may be able to make that case, as the BSA is their official youth organization, but the Catholics and Baptists and Evangelicals may not be able to make that claim. The Dale decision may still apply, but the crack opened by BSA allowing local option will just be blood on the water for publicity-hungry left-wing legal groups. Are you willing to risk your residence on winning the civil suit against you?
Do you honestly think that, having tasted success, the LGBT groups will let you continue to run your troop as you see fit and in accordance with your religious and moral views?
Read this article from the Dallas Morning News on the religious response to the proposed changes: http://www.dallasnews.com/news/local-news/20130129-boy-scouts-future-uncertain-if-group-drops-ban-on-openly-gay-youths-volunteers.ece
Here's the money quote
Another form of protest involved Eagle Scouts who returned their medals and badges to Boy Scout headquarters. Among them was Nate May, a 25-year-old musician from Huntington, W.Va., who depicted the Scouts' new proposal as "a step in the right direction."
Meaning...what? The LGBT groups won a local option and now they will be happy?
If BSA goes forward with this policy, and I suspect they will, it's a whole new game.
I don't think I'll leave scouting, and I doubt that there will be a massive influx of gay scout leaders into our troop. I sure won't contribute any money to National from now on if they back down, ever again. I suspect a lot of others won't, maybe that will be made up by all the funding from big-pocket corporate contributors. If there is someone I feel uncomfortable having around the boys, I will leave the troop. As our CO is a conservative religious group, in the unlikely event someone wants to join and make a legal issue of it, I'm out of there. It's not worth putting myself at legal risk for a principle if the national headquarters won't back me up. If National is more concerned with raking in the big corporate bucks to bring big-name teen pop singers and laser shows to the jamboree (and to keep their salaries and offices), they are not going to risk any of that by paying legal fees for a non-PC "neanderthal" local troop.
If you are going to stay in the game, and think this could be a problem in your area, get a personal indemnity rider to your personal insurance policy, protect you assets as best you can and if you suspect legal problems, document, document, document and make sure you have a witness to any statements you or someone else makes.(This message has been edited by AZMike)(This message has been edited by AZMike)
- Aug 2008
When Exploring split into two programs in 1998, I know some career exploration posts that should have remained Explorer posts switch COs from government agencies to 'Friends of..." or XYZ civic group, and become Venturing crews due to homosexual issue. So Beavah has a point.
- Oct 2010
I can't find this on the website, but this was shared with me. note I'm not in this particular council but it references the BSA defending question.
"If the National, BSA Board votes to make a change no chartered organization would be asked to accept any adult or youth member they did not want to allow in their unit. No unit will be forced to accept a gay youth or leader into their unit.
=>The Boy Scouts will continue to legally defend every leader's and every chartered organization's right to choose who to allow in their unit. This includes continuing the cost of any settlements and cost of legal representation, just as it is today.
Well, that's pretty alarmist, AZMike.
Can you point to any cases where women's groups have sued because some troops don't allow women to be Scoutmasters?
Are there any cases where religious freedom groups have sued because some troops restrict their leadership on the basis of religion?
For that matter, I'd be curious to know of any lawsuits against a volunteer organization for how they choose their leaders.
What standard is the government using that would make a troop not be considered part of a church? Hospitals are employers who provide health care plans for their employees. Boy Scout units are not.
The IRS clearly describes church-sponsored troops as "integrated auxiliary of a church."
The test includes having a 501c(3) purpose (which Scouts does), and being "affiliated" with the church.
The test for affiliation includes a variety of possible indicators, including
- the organization shares principles with the church. [This is clearly stated in the charter that the church signs and says it will "Conduct the Scouting program according to its own policies and guidelines"]
- the church can appoint or remove the organizations directors [clearly yes]
- the church affirms an institutional relationship [they do this every year, when they sign the charter]
First, I would suggest you re-read my post carefully.
It doesn't matter if lawsuits in the past by women were found to have merit or not.
Again, the merits of your case don't matter if you're not willing to absorb the legal costs of defending yourself in a civil suit against a well-funded opponent.
Do you doubt that LGBT legal organizations will stop at the local option? If not, why?
Gay organizations and activists have sued over translations of the Bible with which they agreed, to contest the legality of voter initiatives, to make a swimclub consider partners as "household members" rather than "family members", to prohibit therapists from offering "conversion therapy," for exclusion of gay marching groups from parades, for eHarmony not including gays, lesbians, and trannies on their matchmaking sites, for Christian businesspeople who don't want to hold a gay wedding at their bed and breakfast, for not allowing gay men to join an African-American sorority, for transexuals being sent to a women's jail, for transexuals NOT being sent to a women's jail...you name it, that was just off the first couple of thousands of pages of Google searches.
If the unsourced report above is part of the an official policy, that is good. Whether the incoming leadership chooses to renege on this issue is another. Will it be included in rechartering?(This message has been edited by AZMike)
The recharter agreement that we just signed says that the BSA will "Provide primary general liability insurance to cover the chartered organization, its board, officers,
chartered organization representative, employees and volunteers currently registered with Boy Scouts of America. Coverage is provided with respect to the claims arising out of an official Scouting activity"
and it says that the CO will "Conduct the Scouting program according to its own policies and guidelines"
The insurance that the BSA provides is a major reason why groups are willing to offer the Boy Scout program. That's not going to go away.
- Apr 2013
Way Way Way back when the first hybrid cars came out and were being sold, the Prius and the Honda whatever it was, there was a huge backlash of publicity and concern about first responders and something about the cables being hot and the potential for life threatening shocks if in the accident wires touched various possible things and people would die because first responders couldnt be expected to risk their lives. It was the first I ever heard of such a concern, I always thoughth the resistance to hybrid cars, or electric cars was the weight and range of the battery. No one ever talked about the risk to first responders in accidents
Now, after years and years and years of the Local option being cussed and discussed I dont remember anyone mentioning that if the BSA went Local Option, the local CO's would be sued for following their beliefs. How can a religious organization be sued for following its core tenet principals? From what I see and understand, No faith should have to change its principals so they wont get sued, right?
(well as long as they are not illegal. no human sacrifices, etc)(This message has been edited by OldGreyEagle)
- Nov 2006
Another I'm contemplating today - I wonder how this is going to play out in our local fundraising efforts.
I think I am thankful we are heading to the movies. My brain needs a rest.