Lawmakers in California, presented with resolutions to honor both the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts for the organizations’ contributions to America over the generations, adopted the one regarding Girl Scouts but shredded the proposal for the Boy Scouts and ripped into the organization for teaching “hate.”
The irony of the lawmakers’ refusal to tolerate the Boy Scouts’ beliefs in the name of “tolerance” was pointed out in a report by the California Family Council.
The proposals weren’t complicated. They were to honor the Boy Scouts on the 100-year anniversary of the organization and to honor the Girl Scouts at the same time.
But “to read the committee’s analysis, you would think they were talking about a different resolution,” the council reported, quoting lawmakers who asked, “Should the Legislature congratulate the Boy Scouts of America on the anniversary of the granting of its federal congressional charter despite the fact that this organization steadfastly continues to discriminate against individuals because of their sexual orientation or religious views?”
The Girl Scouts, who have a “tolerance” policy with which the lawmakers agreed, were honored, even though Republicans objected to a Democrat addition to the statement that injected sex into the issue. But the resolution regarding the Boy Scouts was rejected, as it has been repeatedly in recent years.
“The difference was the lack of ‘controversy’ on the resolution honoring the Girl Scouts,” said the council report, written by Rebecca Burgoyne. “The resolution itself touts the Girl Scouts’ ‘acceptance’ and ‘tolerance,’ including its promotion of diversity regardless of ‘race, religion, sexual orientation, economic background, national origin, disability, or medical condition.’”
The Boy Scouts, however, were treated differently by committee lawmakers because of their beliefs. They could not be reached for comment today.
“At least half a dozen times in the last decade, similar attempts to honor the Boy Scouts have been sacrificed on the altar of ‘tolerance’ due to the committee’s unwavering commitment to bow to perceived discrimination,” the council report said. “This despite the United States Supreme Court ruling that the Boy Scouts, a private organization, could set their own standards of membership and leadership.”
The California Assembly’s Judiciary Committee report on the proposal for the Boy Scouts cited its requirement that members commit to a belief in a higher power.
“Not allowing atheists into Scouts defies both American and Scouting values. It teaches kids to hate and to think of atheists as lesser people,” lawmakers wrote. “It teaches them to fear differences rather than understand them.”
The analysis, under Assemblyman Mike Feuer as chairman, also cited the “compelling stories of hurt and pain that this longstanding policy has caused individuals who are otherwise deeply committed to the values of and participation in this longstanding institution.”
The committee’s report admitted that the First Amendment and the California Constitution provide “that requiring the Boy Scouts to admit openly gay people violates the group’s First Amendment right of expressive association.”
But the report also said governments “may withhold support” from such groups. And it quoted criticism of the Scouts from Kevin Cathcart, a spokesman with the Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund, who said, “Parents, religious corporations, cities, and schools agree: the Boy Scouts may have a legal right to discriminate, but that doesn’t make discrimination right.”
The committee noted that previously, lawmakers have even rejected attempts to recognize individuals who attain the rank of Eagle Scout, because the measures did not encourage “the organization to halt its discriminatory policies that regrettably harm individuals.”
According to the Associated Press, the majority Democrats added a reference to the Girl Scouts’ honor noting that the group has an open-sexual-orientation policy, and Republicans were indignant.
“I just don’t understand why this chamber wants to sexualize children,” said Assembly member Diane Harkey, a Republican.