Resistance/backlash/response to Supreme Court opinions
bryanw at TJSL.EDU
Wed Aug 30 15:04:19 PDT 2000
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Rick Duncan [mailto:conlawprof at YAHOO.COM]
> Sent: Wednesday, August 30, 2000 8:07 AM
> To: CONLAWPROF at listserv.ucla.edu
> Subject: Re: Resistance/backlash/response to Supreme Court opinions
> I agree with Bryan that Dale was correctly decided.
> But I am not buying the spin coming from gay rights
> advocates that this great victory for freedom of
> expression is really a great loss for the Boy Scouts
> because it exposes them as a bunch of immoral bigots.
> Just the opposite is closer to the truth.
> Certainly, there is a small, but powerful, minority
> who hold the absurd position that Mr. Dale is a
> wonderful role model for young boys and BSA is an
> evil, bigoted organization because it believes in
> teaching boys to be good husbands to their *wives* and
> good fathers of their children. But most people don't
> share the extremism of Prof. Wildenthal. Most people
> are delighted to trust their sons to an organization
> that believes in traditional sexual morality and I
> dare say most parents would definitely *not* want
> their sons to be influenced by someone like Mr. Dale.
> We do indeed have a culture war in modern America, and
> a fundamental disagreement over what is good and what
> is evil. But when extremists label the Boy Scouts as
> "evil" and Mr. Dale as a "good role model" for young
> boys, their true character becomes apparent to all men
> and women of good will. The Boy Scouts will thrive
> because they stood up for what is right and what is
> true. --Rick Duncan
> Rick Duncan (conlawprof at yahoo.com)
Well, we shall see. Prof. Duncan and I obviously have some profound
differences in outlook (despite our agreement that Dale is a victory for
freedom of association), further pursuit of which would probably get into
political/philosophical debates outside the scope of this forum.
I do have to object (in this forum, since Prof. Duncan posted his comments
here) that neither I nor any gay rights advocate I know of views the BSA as
"bigoted ... because it believes in teaching boys to be good husbands to
their wives and good fathers of their children." Point of information:
quite a few gay men and women (including some I personally know) are "good
fathers [and mothers] of their children." Prof. Duncan might be interested
to know that I myself try to inculcate in my two teenage nephews (both
heterosexual as far as I know) that they should treat everyone with respect
and in the long run, I hope, "be good husbands to their wives and fathers to
their children." Neither has been a Boy Scout, but I think they would
benefit from being in a BSA troop led by someone like James Dale, just as I
like to think they benefit from associating with me as their uncle. An
organization which respected human values more than I think the BSA does
would at least avoid sending a message to the many gay boys in its ranks
that they are worthless and evil. It would, perhaps, even be so "extremist"
as to suggest (by treating with respect an openly gay role model like James
Dale) that such a boy can hope to live a responsible and happy life while
being true to who he is, which might even involve being a good husband to
his future husband.
I wish, finally, that I could see Prof. Duncan debate his view of the BSA
with a heterosexual teenage Boy Scout like Steven Cozza of Petaluma, Cal.,
who has been waging a campaign within the Scouts to reform its
discriminatory policy, and (like many of his younger compatriots) has a much
clearer sense of the cruelty and injustice of the policy than the adults
running the national organization.
Bryan Wildenthal, Thomas Jefferson School of Law
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