Court Says Boy Scouts Can Bar Gays

Wednesday, June 28th 2000, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Boy Scouts can bar homosexuals from serving as troop leaders, the Supreme Court ruled today.

The 5-4 decision said forcing the Scouts to accept gay troop leaders would violate the organization's rights of free expression and free association under the Constitution's First Amendment.

``The Boy Scouts asserts that homosexual conduct is inconsistent with the values it seeks to instill,'' Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist wrote for the court. Requiring them to accept a gay scoutmaster ``would significantly burden the organization's right to oppose or disfavor homosexual conduct.''

The ruling reversed a New Jersey Supreme Court holding that the Scouts wrongly ousted assistant scoutmaster James Dale when the organization learned he is gay. The state court had said the scouts' action violated a New Jersey law banning discrimination in public accommodation.