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THE BOY SCOUTS WANTED this. They fought for it. So it’s more than a little ironic that they would complain now.

“This” is the right to exclude gay members and leaders from the Boy Scouts of America. BSA won this right in court on the argument that, as a private organization, they have the right to freedom of association.

So far, so good. We may not agree with the rationale, but private groups do have the right to exclude whoever they wish.

Unfortunately, as pointed out in this L.A. Times editorial, the Scouts are now suing every locality that gets in the way of their access to public money and public facilities, such as the sweet deal they used to have with the city of San Diego. We’re sure there are many private groups that would like to lease acres of parkland for $1 per year, or get the free use of a marina, but the rest of us don’t get Special Rights handed to us.

Private standards = private funding. Public funding = including all of the public. Pick one, guys.

By the way, in our vintage (circa 1979) Official Boy Scout Handbook, under the heading “What is a family?”, appears the following passage:

“Two parents, one, or none – what makes up a family is not the number of people or whether they are related by blood. It is the way they care for each other, share with each other.”

If only this sensible observation were reflected in official Boy Scout policy. Check out Scouting For All to see what folks are doing about that.

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