Tags: L.A. | Unties | Knot | With | Scouts

L.A. Unties Knot With Scouts

Wednesday, 29 November 2000 12:00 AM

The Scouts say they have a constitutional right to bar gays from its leadership ranks, and the United States Supreme Court has upheld that.

According to Reuters news service:

Los Angeles officials contend its municipal ordinances prevent the local government from having relationships with organizations that discriminate.

"We don't have a choice legally," said Councilman Mike Feuer. "Both the spirit and the content of existing city law is very clear: The city shouldn't participate in a discriminatory practice or policy.

"Nobody, including the Boy Scouts, has articulated what the difference is between discriminating on the basis of race, on the one hand, which they would agree ought never happen, and discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation."

The council's vote carried 11-0 Tuesday.

Laura Esquivel, assistant to Councilwoman Jackie Goldberg, a gay-rights activist who heads the city's personnel committee, and was a major backer of the measure, said that under the new policy:

• The police department will be asked to junk its Explorers unit, a Boy Scouts-affiliated police cadet-training program for young people, and substitute an alternative.

• All city departments will be audited to discover what contractual relationships exist with Boy Scouts affiliates may exist.

• All city contracts will be examined to make sure they contain non-discriminatory clauses.

• City parks will now charge the Scouts a fee to use their facilities for camping and other activities.

In the 90 years since the BSA was founded, more than 90 million American boys have joined.

Currently, there are nearly 5 million members between ages 11 and 17 and nearly 1.3 million adult leaders.

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The Scouts say they have a constitutional right to bar gays from its leadership ranks, and the United States Supreme Court has upheld that. According to Reuters news service: Los Angeles officials contend its municipal ordinances prevent the local government from having...
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Wednesday, 29 November 2000 12:00 AM
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