Duke Davis, Eagle Scout
mark.scarberry at PEPPERDINE.EDU
Wed Jan 26 16:27:02 PST 2000
No, I don't think I said that, nor did I mean that. Quite the opposite. If
Dale is supportive of BSA principles and lives in a way that is consistent
with them, he should be eligible to be a leader without regard to his
orientation. Certainly I would take that position if I were making policy
for the BSA.
Were the BSA's policies not so careful already about not having leaders
sleep in tents with scouts, etc., then I would think there could be a ground
for discrimination on the grounds of orientation, to the same degree that it
might make sense for the BSA not to have women as leaders of young men on
camping trips. One need not think that gays are any more likely than
straight persons to engage in improper relations with young people to think
that perhaps persons who might be sexually attracted to the young men
shouldn't lead their camping trips.
But to the extent that the BSA would allow women to lead, there would need
to be some further justification for not allowing gays (who support BSA
principles and live by them) to lead. Perhaps we might think that male
sexuality--whether gay or straight--tends to be more aggressive than female
sexuality. Then the corresponding question might be whether we would want
heterosexual men leading teenage girls on camping trips. As a father of 16
and 12 year old girls, I know how I would answer that one.
From: James Maule [mailto:maule at LAW.VILLANOVA.EDU]
Sent: Wednesday, January 26, 2000 2:19 PM
To: RELIGIONLAW at listserv.ucla.edu
Subject: Re: Duke Davis, Eagle Scout
>>> "Scarberry, Mark" <mark.scarberry at PEPPERDINE.EDU> 01/26/00 02:19PM >>>
If Dale (1) believed he was homosexual, and nevertheless (2) believed that
he should not engage in homosexual acts, and (3) agreed to support the BSA's
position that homosexual acts should be avoided, then the case would be much
closer. But the mere fact that the BSA can't show that he engaged in
homosexual conduct (do we really want them to have to investigate and prove
that?) doesn't mean that his avowed views are consistent with the mission of
the BSA. And none of the facts include any claim by Dale that he has been
celibate (even though that would not be enough to tip the scales in his
Now I guess I get to ask, "Really?" If I am interpreting this correctly,
Mark, are you saying that a celibate homosexual who "lives cleanly" and
abides with the principles of the BSA and refrains from criticizing it and
refrains from being an advocate of gay rights can be tossed out nonetheless?
That's discrimination based on orientation. Aside from its practical
implications, I doubt it has very much support politically, or legally.
Professor of Law
Villanova University School of Law
Villanova, PA 19085
maule at law.villanova.edu
"Vision is the ability to see what is possible before it is obvious."
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