Jump to content
robert12

Update On Adult Leadership Standards

Recommended Posts

For those of you who are worried that national will leave chartering organizations on their own to defend lawsuits:

 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED THAT:

The Boy Scouts of America will defend and indemnify to the fullest extent allowed by law

any bona fide religious chartered organization against any claim or action contending

that the chartered organization’s good faith refusal to select a unit leader based upon

the religious principles of the chartered organization is in violation of the law.

That seems pretty important. Additionally, the same official BSA page that is linked to in the original post also has a link to a fairly lengthy legal memo in which the BSA's attorneys lay out the argument for why the BSA and the religious organization/CO would win such a case. I would not be surprised if one of the reasons why that memo is there, in a public place, is to try to scare off anyone considering bringing such a lawsuit after the change goes into effect. I have read it and it would give me pause if I were considering such a thing.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just heard this news!  It is Fantastic.. I agree with others, it is the only solution that could be made in order to respect everyone's differing belief values on the subject..

 

I also hope that those having difficulties embracing the change, will find a path that will make them happy, be it within scouting or not.. Although like packsaddle I am happy to keep the door open for you... Also, like BSA with this change that now respects my values, I am perfectly happy to defend the rights of religious CO's with differing values to have the right to practice their religious values as long as it does not infringe on my religious values.. Same as I will defend a religion having a right to choose not to perform a same sex marriage as long as other religions have a right to do so.. The same as some CO's have the right not to accept women as unit leaders, or have the right to choose on members of the CO for adult leaders etc. etc. etc...

 

Perhaps there are people in the LGBT community that do not think this is good enough.. Question is can they get a huge swell of the general populace to agree that religions must conform and are not allowed to practice their own religious beliefs within their own religion.. The BSA being a charter org of the church gives it a different partnership then a group that they just let use their facilities.. The BSA group is 100% under the church.. I have no doubt if it ever came to a court battle BSA and the church would win that argument as long as they are arguing for upholding their religious beliefs within their own religious organization rather then arguing imposing their religious belief upon everyone, even those whose religious beliefs are totally opposite of theirs.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The protection to choose for a CO is very narrowly drawn to unit-serving volunteers.  But Scouts interact with many leaders who are either from other units, or who are paid BSA employees (camp staff is the big one).  So the protection is cold comfort unless the unit wants to live in isolation from the rest of Scouting.

 

I just returned from camp, where the challenges are very clear to me.  Camp staffing, with its zany and dramatic nature, will attract the "out and proud" gang like flies to honey.  Yes that's a stereotype, I believe it's true enough to apply here, and I'll continue to hold it, so thanks in advance to anyone who can avoid criticizing my belief for its own sake.  Anyhow, this stands to revolutionize the atmosphere at an affected summer camp... a revolution that would IMHO accelerate camp attendance declines and property selloffs ala GSUSA.  But maybe that's all in the plan; some of these properties are worth a mint.

 

With BSA having shown willingness to capitulate as needed, the blood is in the water; and conservative CO's, natural-boy-only units, and the Duty to God will all be shown the door before the process is over.  It's almost indecent for BSA to claim it will continue to have Scouters' backs in those areas, because it won't.  Sometimes life is hard, and your only choices are appeasement until you cease to exist, or saying "no thank you" and either prevailing with pride or going down in a blaze of glory.  We all have our druthers, but I can tell you if they'd chosen the latter path I'd be ready to lie down on the tracks for them.  As of 2013, though, as soon as I knew this would happen, not anymore.

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have no doubt if it ever came to a court battle BSA and the church would win that argument as long as they are arguing for upholding their religious beliefs within their own religious organization rather then arguing imposing their religious belief upon everyone, even those whose religious beliefs are totally opposite of theirs.

 

Even if the court did find against a church, all the church would have to do is state the scout group is part of their youth ministry program to the community ... which is the truth.  Same as considering private school teachers part of the ministry program of a church allows for selective hiring and employment conditions.

Edited by fred johnson

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree that churches will probably be able to hold the line locally for awhile.

 

But I also wonder how this will affect attendance at Council and District events...

(Moms at parent night will be disappointed to learn that the really well cut waterfront director is gay.)  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In my view, this is a good move by BSA.  BSA provides a program that organizations can use to provide a meaningful program for kids.  BSA brings the program.  Organizations bring the facilities, membership and leadership.  

 

We are a diverse nation.  It is unreal for BSA to ask organizations to run a program but run it with values different than their own.  This allows BSA to recognize and work in a nation of diverse beliefs.

 

My only fear though is if some new case ever reaches the US Supreme Court.  Though I agree with the end result of "most" (not all) of the recent decisions, the justification often seems pushed to the limit to reach a "desired conclusion".  In another words, I believe today's court would decide the 1999 BSA v. Dale case differently.  Less based on written law and more based on "desired outcome".

Edited by fred johnson

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Depends if they isolate their child from all but their church and they were doing scouting in confidence anyone gay who was volunteering stayed in the closet..  But, if they ventured out with their child to public school (or private with no written rule), went to stores or community events or medical facilities, joined other activities like little league, karate, a band or choir, public pool or beach.. Well then the parents will live with the possibility a staff member may be gay. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Fred - The Supreme court would have to get a change up to lean very heavily with extreme liberal judges for them to ever come up with a verdict that a religion must stop practicing their religious beliefs and comply with any equal and civil rights that go against their beliefs.. The only time I have known that to happen is if the life of a child is endangered as in medical aid or forcing young girls to marry, or killing a child because they sinned and caused the family shame..Those cases are not always decided against the religion..  I don't think you have child endangerment as an argument over a parent of a scout not being able to force troop A to accept his Adult App due to him being gay, especially when they are given the right to move to troop B, or create their own troop.. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Fred - The Supreme court would have to get a change up to lean very heavily with extreme liberal judges for them to ever come up with a verdict that a religion must stop practicing their religious beliefs and comply with any equal and civil rights that go against their beliefs..

 

I believe that the connection of "protected" units with "unprotected" units via a common organization (BSA) will be the loophole that the activists use to attack the churches.  Legalities may not matter, though, because few attacked churches are likely to have the money and will to fight, and so will need to solve the problem by acquiescing or asking the unit to leave, and that's what they'll do.  Over time, as openly gay Scouters and staff increase, the culture of BSA will trend leftward toward GSUSA, and the general atmosphere will become untenable for conservative CO's. As they leave, the transformation will complete itself.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That seems pretty important. Additionally, the same official BSA page that is linked to in the original post also has a link to a fairly lengthy legal memo in which the BSA's attorneys lay out the argument for why the BSA and the religious organization/CO would win such a case. I would not be surprised if one of the reasons why that memo is there, in a public place, is to try to scare off anyone considering bringing such a lawsuit after the change goes into effect. I have read it and it would give me pause if I were considering such a thing.

 

I think the legal argument laid out for why they "must" change their leadership standard is a total sham, done in an attempt to save face while making the change.  They claim that "The inescapable consensus in the legal community is that a protracted legal battle to defend the BSA’s current standard excluding gay adult leaders is unwinnable", yet religious discrimination is much more protected than sexual orientation; they say that "No one seriously doubts that the BSA’s and its chartered organizations’ right to maintain duty to God is protected by the First Amendment", but the Dale decision was based on the first amendment right of freedom of association, which still holds for anyone the BSA wants to exclude.  And they still include double-talk like "Let there be no doubt, the BSA will steadfastly defend the right of religious chartered organizations to select leaders whose beliefs are consistent with those of the religious organization" -- unless, say, a UU unit wants an atheist to be the leader.

Edited by Merlyn_LeRoy

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Fred - The Supreme court would have to get a change up to lean very heavily with extreme liberal judges for them to ever come up with a verdict that a religion must stop practicing their religious beliefs and comply with any equal and civil rights that go against their beliefs.. ...

 

You are right the USSC won't rule against religion.

 

But, the USSC does often redefine the issue.  Read the "Held" in the 1984 Roberts v Jaycees decision.  Jaycees reference both God and men in the creed, but USSC believed USSC could decide membership policy changes without abridging freedom of association.  And, USSC had many reasons including the "compelling interest in eradicating discrimination".  There is also the USSC Boy's Club case where it ruled since Boy's Club accepts all boys it was effectively a "public club" and must accept girls too.  And thus because Boys and Girls Club of America.  

 

All the USSC had to do in 1999 Dale v BSA was to decide BSA was a public organization ... which seems very easy to achieve since BSA boasts of having a congressional charter ... and many units were chartered by elementary schools or PTOs or other public organizations.  

 

It seems the BSA case was decided more based on a long history of good will and the desired result at that time.  

 

1999 Dale v BSA does not add to a long history of consistent case law.

 

There is continual flip flop on which factor is most important.  Anti-discrimination.  Freedom of religion.  Freedom of association.  

Edited by fred johnson

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm wondering if this will lead to BSA acceptance of the UUA religious award. It sure ought to cause the UUA to rethink the wording of their religious award documents.

  • Upvote 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

.... religious discrimination is much more protected than sexual orientation ...

 

You say religious discrimination.  I say religious freedom.  Let's call the whole thing off.  :)  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm wondering if this will lead to BSA acceptance of the UUA religious award. It sure ought to cause the UUA to rethink the wording of their religious award documents.

 

When I hear UUA, I keep thinking all star wrestling.  Sorry.  Just really tired right now.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×