THE BOTTOM LINE is this: On Tuesday, the Boy Scouts of America — one of the nation’s most prominent youth organizations — essentially told the young people it seeks to empower that some of them are unequal, merely because of the way they were born.
For the past two years, the Scouts had been reevaluating their infamous exclusion policy, which denies “membership to individuals who are open or avowed homosexuals or who engage in behavior that would become a distraction to the mission of the BSA.” In 2000, the Supreme Court upheld that policy, ruling that the First Amendment’s freedom of association allows private organizations to exclude whomever they choose. Numerous protest campaigns ensued in the following years. Those prompted the Boy Scouts to reconsider but, ultimately, not to do the right thing. On Tuesday, an 11-member special review committee reached a unanimous decision: Homosexuals “open or avowed” are still unwelcome in the Boy Scouts.