June 28, 2000
Boy Scouts of America
By United States Supreme Court
We are very pleased with the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in the Dale case.
This decision affirms our standing as a private association with the right to
set its own standards for membership and leadership.
This decision allows us to continue our mission of providing character-building
experiences for young people, which has been our chartered purpose since our
For more than 20 years, the Boy Scouts of America has defended its membership
standards. We went to the highest court in the land, the U.S. Supreme Court, in
order to do so. The Boy Scouts of America, as a private organization, must have
the right to establish its own standards of membership if it is to continue to
instill the values of the Scout Oath and Law in boys. Thanks to our legal victories,
our standards of membership have been sustained.
We believe an avowed homosexual is not a role model for the values espoused in
the Scout Oath and Law.
Boy Scouting makes no effort to discover the sexual orientation of any person.
Scouting's message is compromised when prospective leaders present themselves as
role models inconsistent with Boy Scouting's understanding of the Scout Oath and
Scouting's record of inclusion is impressive by any standard. However, we do
ask all of our members to do their best to live the Scout Oath and Law. Today,
boys from every ethnic, religious, and economic background in suburbs, farms,
and cities know and respect each other as they participate in our program.
We thank the parents, volunteers and friends of Scouting who have supported
us in this case and others. We respect other people's right to hold differing
opinions and ask that they respect ours.
In a support brief filed by three of Scouting's largest chartered organizations,
they addressed why Scouting has been so effective for 90 years: "Scouting's program
for character development is effective precisely because it teaches through both
precept and concrete examples of its adult leaders ... Scoutmasters exist not only
to espouse the ideals of Scouting, but more importantly to live and embody them;
they are the role models of the Scouting movement."
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