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The New Jersey Supreme Court decision that forces the Boy Scouts to admit open homosexuals is one of the most troubling court rulings in recent memory.
Thank God, the Boy Scouts have determined to fight this ludicrous decision, announcing they will request the U.S. Supreme Court to uphold their ban on members who do not abide by organizational codes of conduct. The Scouts contend that the New Jersey decision violates their
constitutionally protected freedoms of association and speech.
“We’ll claim the First Amendment,” said Boy Scouts attorney George Davidson, following the New Jersey Supreme Court ruling that invalidated the Scouts ban. The New Jersey High Court ruled that state anti-discrimination laws require the Scouts to be inclusive of gays.
The decision came as a victory for James Dale, an assistant scoutmaster who was barred from serving after announcing that he was participating in a college gay-rights organization. The New Jersey court ruled that because the Scouts are a “place of public accommodation,” it cannot deny any person “advantages, facilities and privileges” on account of “sexual orientation.”
The Scouts, however, contend that Dale cannot remain morally upright, as required by organizational bylaws, by embracing a high-profile position with a homosexual group. As a private organization, the Scouts say, they can adopt whatever stipulations they deem necessary for their members. Such requirements are, of course, designed with the good of the troops in mind.
The New Jersey decision was particularly disconcerting to me because it could have far-reaching consequences in regard to other places of so-called public accommodation — namely churches.
“Does this (decision) mean that every church that sponsors a Scout troop risks coming under the law against discrimination?” asked Chuck Colson of Prison Fellowship Ministries. “Consider the implications: Churches sponsor 62 percent of all Scout troops. And this is only the foot in the door. If you read the court’s opinion carefully, you’ll see that almost any church could be subject to this ruling as a ‘public accommodation.'”
Albert Mohler, president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Ky., agreed, adding, “The logic of the (New Jersey) decision leaves room for religious organizations to be declared ‘public accommodations’ as well. Even without expression, the decision does not allow a church sponsoring a Scout troop to refuse a homosexual scoutmaster, regardless of the church’s convictions.”
Peter LaBarbera, president of Americans for Truth About Homosexuality, added this frightening warning regarding this decision: The New Jersey decision “shows that pro-homosexual ‘sexual-orientation’ laws are being used to punish people and groups for their moral conviction that homosexuality is wrong. America will cease to be a free nation if this decision, and others
like it, prevail.”
It is perfectly evident that Americans who are determined to uphold Judeo-Christian morality have become Public Enemy No. 1 to the judicial tyrants who are using court benches to revise age-old principles of behavior in favor of dangerous sexual conduct.
Recently, I determined to get involved in this court case. I asked my son, Jerry Falwell Jr., who serves as chief counsel for Liberty University, and Mathew Staver, chief counsel for the Orlando-based Liberty Counsel, to draw up a friend of the court brief for the Boy Scouts. Staver’s group has been on the cutting-edge of winning important religious freedom cases nationwide. Both of them were more than pleased to get involved.
We believe the New Jersey decision violates the Boy Scouts’ constitutionally protected freedoms of association and speech. Our amicus curiae will explain how this decision threatens all private organizations nationwide.
Jay Sekulow, chief counsel for the American Center for Law and Justice, recently stated, “The Boy Scouts is a private organization and enjoys the constitutional protection to set its own rules and regulations with regard to leadership. This decision eliminates that constitutional protection.”
That is why I decided that my ministry needs to enter this debate. It is high time that private citizens arise and fight for their rights to live as free people — not as slaves to Big Brother.
When our courts can eradicate standards of behavior in private organizations, we all stand in danger of having our beliefs and practices literally defined by our government. That is nothing less than government oppression and a frightening prospect for our future.
Let us pray that the U.S. Supreme Court will agree to hear — and subsequently overrule — the New Jersey Boy Scout decision that ultimately imperils all private organizations.