[Note: This article was written before the US Supreme Court decision to allow the BSA to discriminate against gays by acknowledging their claim to be a private religious organization. Of course, now the BSA is as ineligible for government subsidies as other private religious organizations, like the KKK.]

I received a letter in the mail the other day. An appeal from the ACLJ (American Center for Law and Justice) to help them defend American churches and religious schools from an "attack" by homosexuals. The letter is full of speculation, assumptions and the spreading of rumors that are designed to fan the flames of fear that exist among those who see homosexuality as an "abomination". This letter is nothing but propaganda designed to further the ADMITTED political agenda of groups like the Christian Coalition. All quoted material, which will appear in orange print, is taken from the letter sent out by the ACLJ. If it's in bold, underlined, capitalized or italicized, that's because it appears that way in their letter (although on the letter, the print is black and the underline is blue.)

Homosexual activists are on the verge of destroying the Boy Scouts of America— and your church could be their next target.

On the verge? A gross exaggeration. Destroying the Boy Scouts? A bit melodramatic to say the least. The court case that the US Supreme Court has before it is NOT aimed at destroying the Boy Scouts but at ending the hypocritical stand the BSA (Boy Scouts of America) has towards gays. NOWHERE in anything that the general public can read about the BSA— in any of the official Scout handbooks, on any application, in any pamphlet or informational packet put out by the BSA to the general public— is there ANY mention of homosexuality, the BSA's stand on it or the prohibition of membership for gays. NOWHERE. I went through the BSA training for leaders— I have my certificate, my patch and my wallet card to prove it— and not ONCE was it mentioned that being gay was prohibited. While I cannot claim to have read everything the BSA has ever published, I have yet to find any official statement in a BSA publication (and I'm not talking "interoffice" memo's here) or manual for use by troop/pack leaders that even mentions homosexuality. The BSA's stand on the issue is STILL a surprise to many people that I speak to. When told that I was kicked out for being gay, many people express shock that a group that is supposed to stand for equality and purports to help boys gain self-esteem and to be tolerant and kind and compassionate would be so blatantly, openly and unashamedly discriminatory. Gays do not want to destroy the Boy Scouts. They want to get rid of the hypocrisy in an otherwise wonderful organization, much as a surgeon removes a cancerous tumor from an otherwise healthy body.

As for targeting churches next, if "radical" gays DO target churches or religious schools in an attempt to force them to include gays, I will be standing right beside Mr. Sekulow fighting to keep churches and religious schools private, even if they do discriminate or are hypocritical. Churches ARE private organizations, and as long as they don't put themselves in the public sector— by officially supporting a specific candidate for example— then they have the right to discriminate if they so choose.

This summer, the U.S. Supreme Court will decide if the government can force the Scouts to place homosexuals in leadership positions.

What this case is going to decide is whether or not the BSA is a public or private organization. As a public organization, they will be required to follow anti-discrimination laws in areas that have such laws or enact such laws in the future. The Scouts will not be "forced to place homosexuals in leadership positions", because such implies that the BSA decides who a troops leader is, and that is not the case. The individual troops and packs select their own leaders. What would actually happen is that the BSA could not deny membership to gays based solely on their orientation and it could not deny someone leadership training or deny the troops request to have John Doe as their leader simply because John Doe is gay IF the pack lives in an area where discrimination based on orientation is illegal. Troops would STILL maintain their autonomy and STILL have control over who runs their troop. If the troop has no gay parents and a supply of adults willing to lead, then there's not going to be an effort on the part of gays to force the BSA to "appoint" a gay leader. But if a parent is gay, and gets the support of the rest of the parents in the troop to become a leader, the BSA will not be able to deny him or her membership or leadership status just because s/he is gay. But again, only if there are anti-discrimination laws on the books. THAT will be the effect of a ruling that the BSA is a public organization.

**Every Scout troop across America will immediately be impacted (there are more than 100,000 troops nationwide)...

Actually, this is not true and it's quite melodramatic and misleading. The ONLY troops/packs that will be IMMEDIATELY impacted are those that are chartered in areas where there are existing anti-discrimination laws based on orientation AND who have gay parents who are attempting to become leaders. The vast majority of packs won't even notice a change, and those that do will be getting what they asked for: the right to have THEIR choice of leader (who just happens to be gay) respected and not denied by the BSA because of outdated and antiquated ideas about homosexuality.

**Tens of thousands of churches that sponsor Scout troops will suddenly face the chilling prospect of court-mandated homosexual leaders in their churches...

Again, this is extremely misleading. For example, my son's former pack (he quit last year) is sponsored by a church. The pack committee is in charge of selecting the pack's Scoutmaster. The members of the pack committee are made up of parents and any registered adult member of the community, even if they have no relatives in the scouting program for that troop or pack. When a new Scoutmaster is needed, the pack committee solicits volunteers from among the registered adults in that particular pack. If none of the members happens to be gay, then there will be no "court-mandated homosexual leader" appointed by the courts. The ruling would simply deny the BSA the right to refuse to approve a leader based on the fact that s/he is gay— and that would ONLY be true in areas where there are laws in effect that prevent discrimination based on orientation. So in the case of my son's former pack, the BSA could STILL discriminate if they chose to based on a potential leader's orientation because Pennsylvania HAS no such law.

**Religious schools across America will become the next logical targets of homosexual activities.

Religious schools are private organizations that receive NO FINANCIAL support from the government. The BSA on the other hand has packs and troops that are sponsored by PUBLIC schools, MILITARY BASES, fire departments, and other public/governmental agencies. In addition, it receives funding from UNICEF, an organization which continues to support the BSA financially DESPITE a policy against funding organizations that have a policy of discrimination. The BSA has TOTAL control over which troops/packs are granted charters and who is able to sponsor troops. If the BSA CHOOSES to accept public and governmental agencies as sponsors for their troops, they have chosen to move beyond the private sector and into the public sector. If they want to remain private, then they must only use private organizations for sponsors— churches and religious schools being two possibilities.

The BSA's own actions in accepting public schools and military bases as sponsors of troops have moved them from the private to public sector. Now they must follow the laws of public organizations and businesses. As such, since the BSA has made itself a public organization, religious schools, which are STILL private, will NOT be the next "logical" target. Unless private schools seek government funding through such programs as school vouchers. THEN, by accepting government funding, religious schools step into the public sector and THEN, if there is discrimination, they will be a logical target. But such is not the case as of this writing, so religious schools have nothing to worry about. IF gay rights advocates attempt to force PRIVATE schools to change their policies, I will fight AGAINST gay rights activists. But if ANY private organization accepts PUBLIC funding, it has, by its own actions, ceased to be private. The acceptance of public funding brings with it that tacit agreement that they must abide by the laws governing public organizations. If they do not want to follow such laws, they should not accept the funding. To do so is an attempt to have one's cake and eat it too.


The "pressure" is not coming from just homosexuals but from ANYONE who is concerned with equality for ALL citizens of this country. If the BSA wants to stay private and discriminate, it is free to do so. But when it accepts public assistance from public organizations, it must abide by the rules of public organizations. It's not about "caving in", it's about seeking to force the BSA to live up to the law and not try to get away with what other groups are forbidden to do.

My friend, this is a major threat to one of the most venerable of all American institutions. It is a direct attack on our rights. And it is an outright assault on our very way of life!

Let me get this straight (no pun intended). Because American citizens are fighting for equal rights, we're attacking venerable American institutions? Let's look at this "venerable American institution" for a minute.

  • A Scout is TRUSTWORTHY. A scout tells the truth. He keeps his promises. Honesty is a part of his code of conduct. People can always depend on him.
  • A Scout is LOYAL. A scout is true to family, friends, Scout leaders, school, nation, and world community.
  • A Scout is FRIENDLY. A scout is a friend to all. He is brother to other Scouts. He seeks to understand others. He respects those with ideas and customs different from his own.
  • A Scout is KIND. A Scout understands there is strength in being gentle. He treats others as he wants to be treated. He does not harm or kill anything without reason.
  • A Scout is OBEDIENT. A Scout follows the rules of his family, school, and troop. He obeys the laws of his community and country. If he thinks these rules and laws are unfair, he tries to have them changed in an orderly manner rather than disobey them.
  • A Scout is THRIFTY. A Scout works to pay his way and to help others. He saves for the future. He protects and conserves natural resources. He carefully uses his time and property.
  • A Scout is BRAVE. A Scout can face danger even if he is afraid. He has the courage to stand for what he thinks is right even if others laugh at him or threaten him.
  • A Scout is CLEAN. A Scout keeps his body and mind fit and clean. He goes around with those who believe in living the same ideals. He helps keep his home and community clean.
  • A Scout is REVERENT. A Scout is reverent toward God. He is faithful in his religious duties. He respects the beliefs of others.

(The above is taken from the official Boy Scout Handbook, ©1990 BSA.)

Let's examine these one by one, shall we?

Trustworthy. Telling the truth. Honesty. Is the BSA "telling the truth" when they do not have on any of their applications or in any of their official publications for leaders that it's against their policy to admit gays? Is it "telling the truth" when they cancel a membership by saying that one fails to live up to the standards maintained by the BSA when such standards are not published for any to see? Is it honest to take money from organizations that use public funding and then claim to be a private organization?

Loyal. True to one's nation and the world community. The Declaration of Independence of this nation says that all men are created equal. Not all men except gays.

Friendly. Seeks to understand others. Respects those with different ideas and customs. Discrimination is respect? That's a new way of looking at it.

Kind. Treats others as he wants to be treated. Discrimination and prejudice are how they want to be treated?

Obedient. To laws of community and country. Tries to have unfair laws changed in an orderly manner. That's why they refuse to hire people who are gay in communities that prohibit that. That's why they take public funds and hide behind a banner of "private organization". That's why they revoke memberships of volunteers who have given DECADES of service (see here to read about Dave Rice's dismissal) because they support changing the BSA policy on discrimination.

Thrifty. Carefully uses time and property (which includes money). I wonder how many millions of dollars the BSA has spent fighting this in court?

Brave. Fight for what he thinks is right even if others laugh or threaten. That's what gays are doing. And we're being told to leave well enough alone.

Clean. Keeps mind fit and clean. Since when is prejudice and discrimination considered "fit"?

Reverent. Respects beliefs of others. So why is the BSA refusing to sanction the United Unitarians religious knot program? Simply because the UU's state that gays are deserving of respect and equality. So much for respecting the beliefs of others.

The Boy Scout laws are wonderful! If only the BSA would follow them. The threat is from WITHIN THE BSA because they are not following their own laws!

What rights are being attacked? What "way of life" is being assaulted? Is allowing gay leaders going to stop those who believe homosexuality is wrong from being in Boy Scouts? No, it's not. But it is going to stop them from forcing their beliefs on others, which is what they're doing by denying gay scouts admission.

If the Scouts lose, then brace for more government mandates in favor of homosexuality!

Very misleading. The mandates are in favor of EQUALITY. It just happens that the only ones being denied rights that others already have are gays. Let me ask you this. How many of you are in favor of equality for gays if they would keep their orientation to themselves? After all, it's no one else's business who they sleep with, right? Who is really flaunting their orientation? I'll bet if you think about it, you can come up with a dozen ways right off the top of your head how straights reveal their orientation every day. From addressing a woman as "Mrs." to man talking about his wife to discussing the upcoming visit by the in-laws (gay marriage is not legal so only straights have true in-laws), straights reveal their orientation many times a day.

The fact is, homosexual activists will not stop until their "same-sex" vision is forced on every American institution.

There may be some gay activists who will seek to force private organizations to admit them. But the vast majority will not. The spokesmen for radical gay groups no more speaks for the majority of gays than Pat Robertson speaks for the majority of Christians. The simple fact of the matter is that gays are now the only group of people who have no legal recourse against discrimination. Being gay is about as much our choice as being short or tall, black or white or Asian or Native American. But if one is to believe that one's orientation is a choice, then when did most heterosexuals make that choice? I know many gays who TRIED to be straight. Who made a conscious effort to STOP the feelings of attraction for the same gender and were unable and failed miserably. I was one of them. Ask yourself, why would anyone choose to be gay in a world that is so vehemently ANTI-gay?

And rest assured, churches will be one of the next targets.

If they are, I'll be fighting right along side Mr. Sekulow. If one's faith says that being gay is wrong, so be it. As long as that organization maintains its status as a private organization, then it can believe as it wants. It can discriminate as it wants. But if it accepts support from the government for ANYTHING or gives money to the government (including campaign contributions, even if not cash), it has crossed into the public sector. The separation of church and state MUST remain unbreachable. (Or more accurately, be made unbreachable...but that's still another article.)

That's because more than 60 percent of all Scout troops are sponsored by churches. If the Scouts lose this fight, those churches may well be coerced into accepting homosexuals into their own leadership!

Let me explain a little bit about how an organization sponsors a Scout troop. The organization provides a place to meet and a representative that acts as a liaison between the troop/pack and the organization. That's it. That's all that is required of a sponsor. In all the time that my kids were in scouting, the ONLY time I ever saw any member of the church attend an official scout activity was when we invited the liaison to our Blue and Gold banquet every year. The Scouts have no impact, no say, no influence at all in church leadership. Nor is that what is being asked for. Of course, there is also the fact that some of the churches that sponsor Scout packs/troops do not discriminate against gays and feel that the BSA policy is wrong. There is no way that declaring the BSA a public organization will mean that churches who sponsor troops or packs have to allow gays into church leadership positions. It's a "scare tactic" and it's misleading and inflammatory.

But it won't stop there...

Homosexuals will then set their sights on religious schools.

Again, if they do, I'll be right there fighting beside Mr. Sekulow. However, if the school accepts vouchers (ie, tax dollars) as tuition, then they've breached the separation of church and state and have, by accepting that money, tacitly agreed to abide by non-discrimination laws. But the choice is theirs. They can't have their cake and eat it too, which is what the BSA and Mr. Sekulow seem to want.

After all, a school is similar to the Boy Scouts--it is a private organization that serves the community.

Thus, another logical step would be to take a Supreme Court ruling against the Boy Scouts and apply it to private schools!

Again, VERY misleading. The very gist of the case against the BSA is to show that they are NOT a private organization. And if the court rules against the BSA, then the above statement will be completely irrelevant, because religious schools ARE private and the BSA will have been ruled to be a PUBLIC organization. So there's no need to worry. If the BSA loses, it will have NO IMPACT on churches or private schools AS LONG AS THEY DO NOT ACCEPT PUBLIC FUNDING.

As I mentioned, this case is just one battlefront in the homosexual activists' legal assault on our values.

And what value would that be? Equality for all under the law? The right of each and every American to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness? Just which "values" are being assaulted? Or maybe it's that homosexuality is an abomination in God's eyes? Let me say this as simply as I can: THE OPINIONS AND BELIEFS OF THE MAJORITY DO NOT MATTER AT ALL IF THE CIVIL RIGHTS OF JUST ONE INDIVIDUAL ARE BEING VIOLATED. Now that may seem to be a bit out there, but think about it. Remember when the black civil rights movement began? Do you honestly think that the majority of Americans favored equal rights for blacks? But it didn't matter because the majority OPINION is of less importance than the civil rights of just one individual. Not fair, you say? Maybe you feel that way...until you're that one individual. And ALL of us are a member of SOME minority. If we ignore the civil rights of ANY minority, then ALL minorities are at risk. Including the one you belong to.

So what values are being assaulted? Let's first answer the question "What are values?" Simply put, values are nothing but our personal morality. Morality is defined as "the system of principles of right and wrong conduct." Now ask yourself, who defines your morality?

Is it the government? I doubt it. Abortion is legal, but for many it is still immoral. Drugs are illegal (at least all drugs except alcohol and tobacco) but many casual users find nothing immoral about using them. OK, so it's not the government.

How about society? Again, I have to say no. Do you and your neighbors agree as to what is morally acceptable?

What about family? Do you and your family members agree on every aspect of morality? Again, while the answer may be yes for many, it's not yes for all.

How about God? Atheists don't believe in God yet atheists are not intrinsically immoral people, although there are those who would like you to believe that they are. How many people are aware that Abraham Lincoln considered himself an atheist until very late in his life when he developed a simple faith in a Divine creator? Would you consider Mr. Lincoln immoral?

Your church? Wrong again. Many churches do not have official positions on issues like homosexuality, abortion, birth control, etc. How many people are aware that, while an organization like the Southern Baptist Convention can state that they are against homosexuality and find it a sinful activity that it is left up to the individual church to decide for itself? How many people are aware that there are HUNDREDS of Baptist churches around the country who feel that being gay and being Christian are not mutually exclusive? The Catholic church views birth control as immoral but I know a whole lot of Catholics who don't.

So what does that leave us with? You. YOU determine what is moral and immoral in your life. And upon what do you base that determination? It is based on your "religion". The definition of religion according to Funk and Wagnall is "the beliefs, attitudes, emotions, behavior, etc. constituting man's relationship with the powers and principles of the universe, esp. with a deity or deities." Using this definition of "religion", even atheists have a religion. And in the US, we are guaranteed the freedom of religion: that means freedom to define our OWN morality. And no governmental agency will make laws that puts one religion ahead of another. THAT is the constitutional law of this country. If you believe that homosexuality is wrong, so be it. Don't engage in it. But you CANNOT make laws that say that your morality MUST be followed by all.

All efforts on the part of the ACLJ to block same-sex marriages, domestic partnerships, adoption and foster parenting by gays and lesbians, etc. are ALL based on the belief that homosexuality is immoral. But morality is based on religion! Therefore, laws that aim to legislate morality are unconstitutional. And the US Supreme Court has ruled many times that it is not the government's job to legislate morality.

Take our client, Larry Phillips, a social worker in Kansas City. Larry courageously stood up for the hurting and confused foster kids being placed with homosexual and lesbian "parents."

For his efforts, Larry was outrageously harassed by his supervisors and eventually fired— all because his viewpoint was offensive to them.

Does anyone see the hypocrisy in this statement? What about the "viewpoint" of gays that they, as citizens of this country, deserve equal rights and equal protection under the law? Larry has no right to force his viewpoint on anyone. THAT is why he was fired— for violating the law in the state where he was employed. For trying to make others live by HIS viewpoint. Gays are not seeking special rights— just the same rights bestowed on others and denied to gays simply by virtue of their orientation. When was the last time you heard about someone denied an apartment because he was straight? Or fired because she was heterosexual? How would YOU feel if your partner was killed in an accident, and the police notified their parents (because your marriage wasn't legally recognized, and therefore the legal next of kin was your partners parents) and they came and took the body away, and buried it before you ever found out they were dead? How would you feel about that? How would you feel if your partner was in an accident and because your marriage wasn't legally recognized you weren't allowed to visit them in the hospital or to have ANY say in their care? Would that make you happy? Would you not fight to change the laws that prevented the legal recognition of your marriage? What if those laws were based on someone else's morality? On someone else's beliefs about God? Would you not see that law as unconstitutional? Then why is it okay to do this to gays?

Take all the arguments that the religious right is using against equal rights for gays. Substitute the word "blacks" and you have the same old tired arguments we heard years ago during the Civil Rights movement. These groups play on the fear of what MAY happen to further their personal agendas. PLEASE, don't allow fear to control your life. Fear is the antithesis of love. What love creates, fear seeks to tear down. If the ACLJ succeeds, fear wins too.

Email me with your questions or requests for informationBack to the Article Index

©1998-2013 Rainbow's End Press
All graphics on all pages are created by Rainbow's End Press unless noted otherwise. Written permission from Rainbow's End Press must be secured for use of any graphics contained on these pages. For problems with this website, please email the webmistress.