Introduction to A Right to Discriminate? How the Case of Boy Scouts of America v. James Dale Warped the Law of Free Association
James Dale joined the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) when he was eight years old. He had wanted to join when he was even younger because his older brother and his father were members. He was an enthusiastic Scout, rising to the rank of Eagle, the highest honor the BSA bestows. “Boy Scouts was community,” he later explained. “It was a place where I felt I belonged. I did other things. I was in soccer and basketball. But nothing fit as well as the Boy Scouts. I felt I didn't have to be the best football player or run the fastest. In the Boy Scouts, I could be who I was. They valued me for who I was.”1 When he turned eighteen, his membership automatically expired, but he was invited to remain in the organization as an assistant Scoutmaster. Then, when he went to college, he learned about the local gay community and decided to come out as gay. He joined the school's lesbian and gay organization during his sophomore year and within three months had become its copresident. A picture of him appeared in the local newspaper in a story about a gay youth workshop. The article did not mention his membership in the BSA.
A Right to Discriminate? How the Case of Boy Scouts of America v. James Dale Warped the Law of Free Association
Wolff, Tobias and Koppelman, Andrew, "Introduction to A Right to Discriminate? How the Case of Boy Scouts of America v. James Dale Warped the Law of Free Association" (2009). Book Chapters. 175.