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Scouts too Evil for CA Judiciary

The California Supreme Court has outlawed membership in the Boy Scouts of America for California judges. [1]Excerpt:

The Boy Scouts of America continues to bar gay and lesbian adults from serving as leaders in the organization, even after lifting a ban on openly gay youth.

California’s judicial code of ethics bars judges from holding “membership in any organization that practices invidious discrimination on the basis of race, sex, gender, religion, national origin, ethnicity or sexual orientation.”

Until this week, California had provided an exception covering nonprofit youth organizations, including the Boy Scouts, the only state in the nation to do so.

California is one of 47 states that bans judges from joining discriminatory groups, and one of 22 that includes a ban on groups that discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation.

An ethics advisory committee to the California Supreme Court proposed the change again last year [2], saying it would “promote the integrity of the judiciary” and “enhance public confidence” in the judicial branch’s impartiality.

The only “anti-gay” organizations you may still belong to and serve as a California judge are religious ones. For now.

As ever, remember the Law of Merited Impossibility: It will never happen, and when it does, you people will deserve it.

UPDATE: A California lawyer writes:

The idea is that if a judge is a member of an organization that discriminates, maintaining that membership, taints the judiciary.   I suppose the theory is that if a judge belongs to an organization that discriminates, that judge cannot be fair when ruling on matters similar to the discrimination practiced  by that organization.    Of course that is the ostensible reason.  The real reason is to marginalize the boy scouts.

To me there are more than a few issues encapsulated by this decision.

It necessarily means that any effort by the scouts to bar gay troop leaders is irrational and hateful.   I remember when Dennis Prager made the point that he wouldn’t’ want a male heterosexual scout master sleeping in the tent with his girl scout daughter and wouldn’t want  a male homosexual scout master sleeping in the tent with this boy scout son.

Since even with its ban on gay scout masters, the boy scouts are currently fighting suits in many jurisdiction in which boy scouts were sexually molested by gays serving in leadership capacity with the scouts, this seems to be a pretty good rhetorical argument, unless you believe that gay scoutmasters with boys have greater control over their sexual desires than do heterosexual male scoutmasters with girls.

Even assuming the ban is proper, my thoughts have always run along the lines of better to have a judge who has some awareness of his or her personal prejudices and understands the need to take them into account in order to be fair to litigants, than someone who believes they are without prejudices but in fact has them.

Justice should be blind.  That is the reason that the terms environmental justice, social justice, racial justice, economic justice etc cause me concern.  Whatever judge is ruling, that judge should not be influenced by those factors.  That is the reason that Sotomayor’s comments about being a wise Latina disturbed me.   Is a wise Latina a  better judge than a wise Latino, a wise white woman, a wise gay man, etc? All should apply the same standard regardless of their background.

In California Proposition 8 passed affirming that California could bar same sex marriages.  The California Supreme Court upheld the law under the California constitution.  The opponents of the law challenged it in Federal Court in San Francisco and were assigned as the judge Vaughn Walker, a gay man who was in a long term relationship.  (Neither then Governor Schwarzenegger, nor then attorney general (now governor) Brown defended the law, effectively imposing an executive veto an a duly enacted intiative, something without precedent)  Should Walker have been prevented from hearing the case?   Can a committed Roman Catholic who doesn’t believe in divorce preside in a family law court?  Can a supporter of abortion rights, rule on bills restricting abortions to early pregnancy?  Where do we draw the line?  On how many cases would a judge who is a member of the boy scouts face a situation where his role in the organization would prevent him from ruling fairly?

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176 Comments To "Scouts too Evil for CA Judiciary"

#1 Comment By panda On January 26, 2015 @ 10:56 am

“Eisenhower supposedly once said, “Our form of government has no sense unless it is founded in a deeply-held religious faith — and I don’t care what it is.” The Boy Scouts are religious in pretty much the same sense.”

First off, that statement is the perfect formulation of MTD, the bete noire of this very blog.

As such, isn’t the problem with it, according to the trads here is exactly that it is so unspecific and lacking in content and adjustable to American culture that it provides no solid basis to oppose the sexual revolution?

#2 Comment By Mike On January 26, 2015 @ 10:59 am

There would be no leeway for troops who view the Scout law, religious overtones considering, to bar homosexual practice. Or for whatever other reason they might consider refusing gay scoutmasters. I am not going to enumerate them; I just want to highlight the difference.

One of the ways “traditionals” shot themselves in the foot on the BSA front. BSA originally proposed allowing all chartering organizations to set their own policies which would have allowed every church who sponsors a troop follow their own denomination’s doctrine. That wasn’t good enough for those who wanted to exclude all gays and they fought against it. Now BSA says accept gay scouts.

Fighting to preserve your faith’s doctrine for your faith is defensible and you’ll find allies even among those who do not share your doctrine. Fighting to make others adhere to your doctrine and you’ll lose those allies who have no interest in your doctrine. It’s a lesson the exclude supporters learned last year with BSA on the youth front. If they didn’t learn they lesson there, I expect they’ll soon be learning it on the adult leader front as BSA makes the virtually inevitable policy changes there too. If the exclude homosexuals supporters are smart, they’ll start pushing for a let the charter organizations set the leaders policy change before they lose that fight as well.

#3 Comment By The Wet One On January 26, 2015 @ 11:21 am

Stephen Hall said what he said at:
January 25, 2015 at 7:40 pm

Mr. Hall, your point raises an interesting question. I was unfamiliar with this particular bit of Roman history. It does accurately mirror what seems to be Rod’s concerns about being Christian the modern world.

Assuming the parallel is indeed correct, I wonder if this means that all peoples everywhere necessarily have to be rather intolerant, chauvanistic and expansionary to survive in their particular culture? I wonder about this as Rome did not survive but Christianity did, and given the tenor of our times, if Christianity to survive must be less pleasant than it has been at least in recent times. For those persecuted and destroyed by Christianity, something I leave to Franklin Evans to discuss (or any of the gays that write here), Christianity hasn’t been much of a friend or pleasant.

Is there an inevitable conflict built into the fabric of human social organization such that strife at some level is necessarily required? I know that there are those here who would shout “Yes!” but I haven’t really seen the basis for their point of view until now. Now, I think I get it. However, all I see is that the war of all against all is inevitable and unescapable. Perhaps things will be different this time around with better political foundations than existed in Roman times. Leviathan and liberal thought was made to relieve us of the corrosive effects of such conflicts. It seems that these ideas and conceptions will be put to the test over the next couple of centuries and we will see how well they stand up.

These are interesting times.

#4 Comment By VikingLS On January 26, 2015 @ 11:28 am

@Cascadian

Who’s stopping you from taking the conversation in that direction?

I’m talking about the people who neither know, nor care what a paleocon is.

#5 Comment By KD On January 26, 2015 @ 11:33 am

If we recall that Communism was an ideology that advocated the violent overthrow of Democratic Governments, and that members of the Communist Party were advocates of violent revolution, then we can draw some parallels.

Joseph McCarthy sought to blacklist members of a violent extremist group, the liberal left wants to blacklist people for being boy scouts. We have to admit that McCarthyism is liberal and restrained in contrast to the present. “Are you or have you ever been a member of the Boy Scouts of America?”

#6 Comment By M_Young On January 26, 2015 @ 12:09 pm

@Siarlys

““the ultimate of arrogance is achieved when a white person thinks another white person can make a judgment without being influenced by race, and a black person cannot.”

If you go back I read what I wrote, you’ll note I said a black person involved in one of the numerous black empowerment organizations. There may be some ‘race blind’ black people out there, or at least some who act that way. But they seem to be few and far between. Even the President and AG are racially motivated. But of course as ‘persons of color’ they get a pass.

#7 Comment By Stephen Hall On January 26, 2015 @ 12:21 pm

“Perhaps things will be different this time around with better political foundations than existed in Roman times. Leviathan and liberal thought was made to relieve us of the corrosive effects of such conflicts. It seems that these ideas and conceptions will be put to the test over the next couple of centuries and we will see how well they stand up.”

I would disagree with on this one. There has been one constant in human society that ideologies and systems can’t seem to count for, that being human nature. Human nature has been the same for however long humans existed, and will be the same for however long humans continue to exist. It is this same human nature that thirsts for revenge and bringing suffering to those they percieve as having done wrong to them in the past.

If the gay lobby really wanted blunt criticism from the religious, they would have forgiven them for the acts committed against the gays. Instead, we get acts of revenge instead. Human nature never changes. This will inspire similar acts of reprisal. Human nature never changes. Eventually, this same group will find themselves being pushed to the margins of society by a new group, who will also use the same rationalizations that the gay lobby used. Human nature never changes.

#8 Comment By Rob G On January 26, 2015 @ 12:42 pm

~~The fact that there is now a stronger taboo on that kind of thing than in the 1970s, even as gay sex was normalized, indicates that the modernist sexual ethic is slightly more complex than “if it feels good, do it!”~~

True. It’s more along the lines of “If it feels good do it, just try not to get arrested.”

“the code was adjusted, making it much harsher than it used to be.”

But again, subject to change at any moment. There is nothing inherent in social liberalism that prevents the revolution’s extension to children, other than its reliance on “consent,” which is a concept built on shifting sand.

If forty years ago homosexuality was considered a mental illness and today it isn’t, that means that if today pedophilia is considered a mental illness, in forty years it may very well not be. There are already rumblings to this effect among certain psychologists who are beginning to view pedophilia as an “orientation” as opposed to a pathology.

Sade did not exclude children; neither will the revolution.

#9 Comment By Rob G On January 26, 2015 @ 1:01 pm

Actually, the revolution has already taken a toll on children, in that millions of unborn ones are dead for the simple reason that lots of selfish people want to be “free” to get their rocks off without any attendant responsibility.

#10 Comment By UhhNo On January 26, 2015 @ 2:22 pm

Since even with its ban on gay scout masters, the boy scouts are currently fighting suits in many jurisdiction in which boy scouts were sexually molested by gays serving in leadership capacity with the scouts, this seems to be a pretty good rhetorical argument, unless you believe that gay scoutmasters with boys have greater control over their sexual desires than do heterosexual male scoutmasters with girls.

Your “California lawyer” should backup claims that the BSA are litigating abuse by gays There are hundreds of lawsuits and, nearly to a one, they are for abuse perpetrated against boys by married heterosexual men.

#11 Comment By Rob G On January 26, 2015 @ 3:05 pm

“There are hundreds of lawsuits and, nearly to a one, they are for abuse perpetrated against boys by married heterosexual men.”

If they’re heterosexual, yet they’re fooling with boys, that makes their sexuality rather confused, to say the least. What does the LGBTQWXYZFUBAR crowd do with them? Are they bisexual, or is it time to add a new letter to the always-expanding alphabet soup?

It’s like sex-based abortion; it throws a monkey wrench into the (il)logic of the revolution.

#12 Comment By Stephen Hall On January 26, 2015 @ 3:16 pm

“If they’re heterosexual, yet they’re fooling with boys, that makes their sexuality rather confused, to say the least. What does the LGBTQWXYZFUBAR crowd do with them? Are they bisexual, or is it time to add a new letter to the always-expanding alphabet soup?”

Think of it this way, when the unknown orientations are being mistreated, they are part of this alphabet soup gang. When they are mistreating, they suddenly are heterosexual. Convenient, no?

#13 Comment By EngineerScotty On January 26, 2015 @ 4:05 pm

“If they’re heterosexual, yet they’re fooling with boys, that makes their sexuality rather confused, to say the least. What does the LGBTQWXYZFUBAR crowd do with them? Are they bisexual, or is it time to add a new letter to the always-expanding alphabet soup?”

An interesting question. Some of them may be pedophiles, a group which seldom outs themselves, for obvious reasons. Generally those with younger victims. Others may in fact be deeply-closeted gay men, who are (for whatever reason) unable to be open about their sexuality (including to themselves) and enter into long-term relationships with another man, and thus marry women but seek clandestine gay sex, including with teenagers.

This seems to be a particular problem in conservative communities, where openly gay people are more likely to be mistreated.

Think of it this way, when the unknown orientations are being mistreated, they are part of this alphabet soup gang. When they are mistreating, they suddenly are heterosexual. Convenient, no?

The reverse observation can also be made. When men molest boys, people complain about the gays as though all gay men are potential pederasts, and thus even openly gay people in healthy relationships with other adults are regarded with suspicion. When men molest girls, OTOH, they are isolated perverts whose conduct has no bearing on the majority of straight guys.

One good thing about Scouting is that they seem to be taking the issue more seriously then the RCC has, despite having far shallower packets. The way you prevent child abuse in youth organizations is not to categorically exclude whole classes of people. The way you prevent abuse is a) make sure children are not alone with adults, especially in private places b) do background checks on adult leaders or anyone else who will be working with children, and c) make it clear that the organization will absolutely not tolerate any abuse whatsoever, and will swiftly refer any reports or concerns to the police.

#14 Comment By panda On January 26, 2015 @ 4:15 pm

“Think of it this way, when the unknown orientations are being mistreated, they are part of this alphabet soup gang. When they are mistreating, they suddenly are heterosexual. Convenient, no?”

All I can say, as someone who was molested as a child, that one day you will awake to the vile evil of the pretend empathy you are feigning, and be ashamed of yourself. This will likely not happen, so I will take solace with the fact that in the future, society will probably think about people like you like it used to think about the people you long to marginalize and abuse again.

#15 Comment By VikingLS On January 26, 2015 @ 7:07 pm

“When men molest girls, OTOH, they are isolated perverts whose conduct has no bearing on the majority of straight guys.”

As a man with a daughter, sorry I’m calling BS.

A friend of mine’s daughter was molested by our coworker’s while she was having a sleepover with his daughter. That makes me more suspicious of straight men with my child.

#16 Comment By VikingLS On January 26, 2015 @ 7:11 pm

Panda give it a rest. You constantly demonize people who disagree with you and you cry foul when people treat you the same way. I’m sorry you suffered abuse as a child, but you are a huge hypocrite.

Again, if you don’t want to be offended by conservatives, stop coming here every day.

#17 Comment By Carolina Silverbell On January 26, 2015 @ 8:02 pm

It would be helpful for this discussion if the people theorizing about gay scout masters in pup tents actually knew what BSA’s policies currently are. The airtight rule is that a kid is never alone with an adult (unless the adult is the kid’s parent, obviously). This creates occasional logistical hassles, but it goes a very long way toward ensuring that kids won’t be preyed on. And adults don’t sleep in tents with kids they’re not related to. Some of you all have quite lurid imaginations.

#18 Comment By Siarlys Jenkins On January 26, 2015 @ 9:33 pm

Golly, M_Young, I cite an example that happens to involve race in support of a broader, general observation you made… and you start arguing because oppressed white people. Whatever. I thought you’d appreciate the irony.

#19 Comment By Nil On January 26, 2015 @ 11:31 pm

Some of you all have quite lurid imaginations.

If history is any guide, a lurid imagination is more or less required when you want to demonize someone simply for being different.

If gay men aren’t insatiable sex fiends and pederasts who will inevitably molest the children should they be allowed as leaders, some of the people here would be nothing more than run of the mill bigots rather than the concerned citizens they obviously are.

#20 Comment By Barret On January 27, 2015 @ 12:14 am

When the Boy Scouts of America are branded a hate group, we know we’ve gone completely off the deep end as a country. Insane. Completely insane.

See you in the arena!

#21 Comment By Michael Guarino On January 27, 2015 @ 1:30 am

Viking, I don’t necessarily disagree with you, but it is also true that these comboxes would be a boring echo chamber without its liberal participants. Don’t drive them all away because panda can be an ass.

#22 Comment By Chet On January 27, 2015 @ 8:49 am

Because, at the end of the day, a great many parents — no matter what they may say to reporters, or in answer to surveys, or even to their neighbors — are simply not going to want to send their son camping with a man who is openly homosexual.

And why would that “kill Scouts”, exactly?

Are you under the impression that the Boy Scouts is a camping organization?

#23 Comment By Chet On January 27, 2015 @ 8:53 am

This is precisely what this culture is “asking” of Christians, that they burn incense to deviant norms and values, then excommunicates them from society when they refuse. This is precisely what you and your fellow followers ask of Christians.

Prime example of precisely the lacuna I mentioned. Nobody’s asking you to “burn incense.” We’re asking you to stop hurting people, which isn’t and was never a part of a traditional sexual belief.

#24 Comment By Chet On January 27, 2015 @ 9:04 am

I don’t know, though, if such liberty would extend to Christians selling meat to pagans with the knowledge it would be used in rituals of pagan sacrifice. Doing such a thing, I think, would scandalize the Church and should be forbidden.

But your ambiguity on the point seems to confirm my view that traditional Christianity doesn’t actually tell you not to do this. And it’s hard to argue that a business transaction between two parties who never again meet is somehow more intimate than what you’re putting in your own mouth; if eating pagan meat is permissible, then selling “Christian” meat to the pagans must be, as well.

Cake decoration, assisting in wedding celebrations, and the like are creative and artistic avocations. The exercise of these skills, even in commercial transactions, is a form of artistic expression, which is protected by the Free Speech as well as the Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment, and no speech can be compelled of a dissenting speaker by the government.

You know, and I would agree. It’s concerning when the mechanism of the state is used to force an artist to make an expression – via a cake or any other mechanism – of affirmation of an act that they believe makes a mockery of a concept of marriage they hold dear.

You know, unless they were happy to bake cakes for a dog’s “wedding.” (Which the baker unhesitatingly was.) Because art is expression, and what you have expressed when you’re willing to bake a cake for any sort of “wedding” save a real one between two people of the same sex is that your stance is not one of artistic integrity; it’s that “traditional marriage” is a cudgel you’ve picked up because it was a convenient way to gay-bash.

#25 Comment By Chet On January 27, 2015 @ 9:20 am

There is nothing inherent in social liberalism that prevents the revolution’s extension to children, other than its reliance on “consent,” which is a concept built on shifting sand.

Are you sure about that? It’s the basis for contract law, for instance.

#26 Comment By Siarlys Jenkins On January 27, 2015 @ 10:12 pm

Chet is indulging the same fallacy that Justice John Paul Stevens indulged in the lengthy and turgid prose of his dissent from Boy Scouts of America v. Dale. (As an aside, when that ruling came down, I read in the NY Times that it was a decision “the Boy Scouts had to win,” because freedom of association was more important than whether it was fair to deny a gay man the opportunity to be a scoutmaster).

Stevens asked at great length, how and in what way is opposition to homosexuality part of the Boy Scouts’ expressive message? And the proper answer is, it is none of the government’s business to ask that question, not the legislature, not the executive branch, not the judiciary. If one has to justify the legitimacy of one’s expressive message to a duly designated Authority, then one has no freedom of association, or expression, at all, because government has become the gatekeeper.

Motive is irrelevant. Consistency is irrelevant. Both may be relevant to whether Joe Smith or Mary Jones listen to the speaker, or take him/her seriously, but neither is relevant to government intervention.

We don’t have freedom of religion because all faiths are equally true. They may or may not be, but we have freedom of religion because we don’t entrust to government the inquiry as to which religion, if any, is in fact true.

We don’t have freedom of speech because all speech is pure, true, esthetically pleasing and inspiring. We have freedom of speech because we don’t entrust to government vetting which speech is any of the above.

A baker doesn’t have to put any message on a cake they don’t want to, because we don’t trust government to put prayers in children’s mouths, the Pledge of Allegiance in the mouths of any who object, or to order anyone to print a message they don’t wish to print on a cake, t-shirt, bumper sticker, or anywhere else. Period.