Blacklisting the Boy Scouts

California judges can belong to the American Civil Liberties Union, the National Organization for Women, Veterans of Foreign Wars, the NAACP, La Raza, the Council on American-Islamic Relations, Mothers Against Drunk Driving, Alcoholics Anonymous, the Sierra Club, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, the NRA, and even the North American Man/Boy Love Association. But thanks to the state’s radical Supreme Court, judges will soon be barred from participation in the venerable Boy Scouts of America. Why? Because the Boy Scouts promote, among other things, heterosexuality as a norm—a view shared by a majority of Americans. Effective next January, California state judges can no longer serve as scoutmasters, assistant scoutmasters, committee chairs, or in any other volunteer positions with the BSA that requires “membership” in the organization. Judges wishing to serve as adult leaders in the BSA will soon have to abandon their First Amendment rights as a condition of employment. Legal challenges are certain.

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The committee contends that its blacklisting of the BSA will “promote the integrity of the judiciary” and “enhance public confidence” in the impartiality of the judiciary. Not likely. This decision illustrates how out of touch (and intolerant) the legal establishment’s ruling elite has become. That the Boy Scouts—chartered by Congress in 1916—could be formally shunned in this manner should disturb all Americans who cherish freedom of association and a pluralistic society.

To ensure their fairness, impartiality, and integrity, California’s judges and judicial officers—the largest state judiciary in the nation, numbering more than 2,100 members—are subject to a code of ethics for their conduct on and off the bench. An 11-member Commission on Judicial Performance determines violations, and judges may be subject to discipline ranging from formal admonishment to removal from the bench. Canon 2C of the code states: “A judge shall not hold membership in any organization that practices invidious discrimination on the basis of race, sex, gender, religion, national origin, ethnicity, or sexual orientation.” On January 21, the California Supreme Court voted unanimously to eliminate an exception to Canon 2C that had permitted judges to belong to a “nonprofit youth organization,” even if it otherwise fell within the scope of the prohibition. The change was clearly focused on the Boy Scouts, which bars adult leaders who are “open or avowed homosexuals.”

“Sexual orientation” was first added to Canon 2C’s list of protected characteristics—accompanied by the “nonprofit youth organization” exclusion, branded by some the Boy Scout loophole—in 1996. LGBT activist groups immediately began a campaign against the Scouts. The state Supreme Court declined to eliminate the exception as recently as 2003, which shows how much California’s political and cultural landscape has shifted over the past decade. Fifteen years ago, the U.S. Supreme Court expressly recognized, in Boy Scouts of America v. Dale, that the organization had the constitutional right to exclude certain people on free association and expression grounds.

Last year, in an effort to end the controversy regarding its stance on gays, the national Boy Scouts organization modified its policies. Now youths may participate in scouting regardless of sexual orientation. Unfortunately, the BSA’s compromise merely signaled weakness. LGBT groups will only accept full capitulation, which the state Supreme Court’s action will hasten.

Canon 2 defines “invidious discrimination” as “arbitrary,” but by conflating the BSA’s longstanding membership policies with, say, a country club that excludes blacks, the court’s decision shows contempt for traditional views shared by most Americans. The canon’s premise is logically flawed: a judge can hold opinions, and even belong to organizations that share those opinions, without harboring animus or lacking impartiality toward litigants (or lawyers) who hold different opinions. An atheist judge is not necessarily biased against believers, and vice versa; a liberal judge is not necessarily biased against conservatives, and a tee-totaling judge not necessarily biased against drinkers, and so on. Being an adult leader in the Boy Scouts does not, in and of itself, make a judge biased against homosexuals. The court’s decision is the essence of intolerance—banishing dissent for the sake of conformity.

Since the Boy Scouts of America was founded in 1910, more than 110 million young men have participated as members. The BSA currently has more than 2.6 million youth members and more than 1 million volunteer adult leaders. Eagle Scouts have landed on the moon (Neil Armstrong), served as president of the United States (Gerald Ford), and excelled as athletes (Henry Aaron), businessmen (J. Willard Marriott, Sam Walton), and filmmakers (Steven Spielberg). Norman Rockwell, who began his prolific career as an illustrator for the Boy Scouts’ handbooks and art director for Boy’s Life magazine, is one of America’s beloved artists. The Scouts do extraordinary work with inner-city kids, providing them with skills and a sense of structure, and instilling discipline. The BSA is one of the most successful youth organizations in history.

Blacklisting this iconic organization is vindictive, mean-spirited, and profoundly insulting to generations of Americans who have participated in scouting. Traditional moral beliefs cannot be arbitrarily banished from the public square, and judges cannot be denied their constitutional rights of free association in order to serve on the bench. This unwarranted rule change—a triumph of political correctness over liberty—brings dishonor to the California judiciary.


  1. It appears as though the only organizations they can and many do belong to are ones that are the “Tool” of the American Communist Party as well as the California Communist Party that have and are causing the breakdown of American we once knew it.

  2. Anyone who still thinks CA is not a Leftist Fascist Failed State is as stupid as the Fascists in the State Legislature.

  3. Michael McDermott says

    “Pander or Perish = the ‘gopspel’ of the Gaystapo

    In the 1930s the Boy Scouts in Germany were destroyed, and all boys ordered to join the ‘hitler youth’ – then run by the homosex pederast Party Founder and leader of the ‘SA’ storm troopers – Ernst Rohm.

    Until assassinated in an inter party purge in 1934, Rohm was Mentor / Boyfriend (‘Du Buddy’ & back door) to the syphilitic homo-anal coprophile prostitute who became ‘Leader’ (fuhrer-hitler)…

    The abuse of Boys under Rohm’s Homo-Nazi ‘SA’ Leadership was just a pre-cursor to the horrors that followed when they started with Dachau Concentration Camp.

    Which is where this whole Abomination is headed, in order to enforce the Thought Crime Laws that allow such basic violations of the 1st Amendment and other stuff formerly protected on that ‘piece of paper’ that Used to be Our Constitution.

    This is not late blooming ‘American Exceptionalism’ – but rather an old evil that has finally come to infest ‘our’ own Turkey Baster Creationist ‘justice’ system – empowered by a Gaystapo Run legislative body itself unfit to pass gas.

  4. The gay,lesbian, transgendered ruin everything for everyone if we don’t stomach their perverse demanding of tolerance that they themselves have never ENTERTAINED. I vote for being excluded from anything they are interested in, therefore, I would not be part of boy or girl scouts because of their political correctness to change what originally was a Christian organization teaching community, integrity, morals and ethics. They have now taken money from planned parenthood and also became neutral about “confused genders”. The only people confusing their children’s gender are the confused parents. Not many kids think about such absurd things at the early ages this pompous, arrogant and angry groups introduction. They indoctrinate their own kids to be confused thus making all of the normal people suffer. Newsflash we don’t want to know about your kid’s gender confusion, stick to the T bathroom and leave our normal kids to themselves.

  5. Liberalism at it’s vile worst.
    The majority needs to express their own rights~~forcefully, politically incorrect or not.

  6. Alinsky said “Use their rules against them.” BSA when you gave up on your principles, you brought about the demise of your organization…Never! Never! Never! give in to progressive, collectivist, fascist persons or groups. Look to the writings of the founders of the exceptional nation and hold their views true.

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