Essay on Dale v. Boy Scouts of America

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Dale v. Boy Scouts of America

This case deals with the Plaintiff's expulsion from his position as Assistant Scoutmaster in a Boy Scouts of America (henceforth called "BSA") troop due to his status as an active homosexual. Dale, the Plaintiff, was serving as an Assistant Scoutmaster in 1990, when, due to a local newspaper article, it was discovered by officials in the local Monmouth BSA Council that he was an active homosexual. A letter was sent to Dale by the Council, notifying him of their decision to revoke his membership in the organization. Dale sent a letter in response, asking why this action was taken. The Council then notified Dale that his homosexual activities made him ineligible for membership in the BSA, as well as making
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This opportunity is recognized as and declared to be a civil right." (Superior) Dale claimed that sponsorship of the BSA by various public entities, such as schools, as well as their Congressional Charter, demonstrates that the BSA is a place of public accommodation, thus falling under LAD.

The BSA claimed that it was a private organization, and, as such, had the right to deny membership to those individuals not meeting its standards for admittance. BSA pointed to a 1978 Policy Statement that was the first official stance taken on the issue of homosexuality by the BSA. In this statement, the BSA disallowed homosexuals the ability to hold leadership positions in Scout troops. The BSA claimed protection under Hurley, citing that case's relevance in matters where private organizations are involved (Superior). The court ruled in favor of the BSA, stating that the BSA was not a place of public accommodation, but instead was a private, expressive organization, with the right to exclude members who stand for beliefs contrary to the essential goal of the BSA. The decision stated:

"BSA is not a 'place of accommodation' under N.J.S.A. 10:5-12(f) and as defined in N.J.S.A. 10:5-5( l ). The lengthy list set forth in the definition is a list of places not one of organizations. A physical place to which one may point is clearly intended." (Superior) He added:

"A Boy Scout troop bears
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