Boy Scouts Put Off Vote on Gays in Scouting
The board of directors of the Boy Scouts of America has put off their planned vote today on whether to change the group's policy regarding openly-gay Scout leaders. The change would have delegated the issue to local councils across the country.
Although the Supreme Court ruled in 2000 that, as a private organization, the Boy Scouts have a right to determine their own leadership and membership criteria in the case Boy Scouts of America v. Dale, corporate supporters of gay rights have threatened to withdraw funding if the Scouts do not change their policy.
Family-rights groups have pushed the Scouts to keep the policy; this week three public-interest law firms advised the Scouts that abandoning a national policy could have serious legal consequences of subjecting local councils to anti-discrimination lawsuits, since the Supreme Court's protection only clearly applied to the national organization.