Despite a decision by the city of Los Angeles to prevent the Boy Scouts from participating in the Los Angeles Scouts Explorer Program, because of the BSA’s policy against admitting homosexuals, the Boy Scouts Alumni Association is petitioning Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca, requesting that the “longstanding relationship between the Boy Scouts of America” and the department “remain intact.”
The petition, drawn up by the Pacific Justice Institute — a California-based legal defense organization which handles cases regarding religious freedom, parental rights and other civil liberties — was requested by the Scouts Alumni Association to entice the Sheriff’s Department to refrain from taking “selective retaliatory action against” the BSA “by dissolving the [County] Scouts Explorer” programs.
“It is unfortunate to see such an intolerant policy being adopted against an organization serving the community and meeting the needs of many young men,” said Brad Dacus, president of PJI and an attorney. “We’ll be watching closely to ensure that whatever policy they adopt is not applied in an unconstitutional manner.”
The City of Angels’ policy may also include preventing Scouts from using public facilities, PJI officials said.
Dacus said the alumni association was attempting to get its petition to as many people as possible, as soon as possible, to help influence or reverse the policy.
According to the alumni association, the Los Angeles City Council’s unanimous adoption of the policy ends “a mutually beneficial relationship between Scouts and police officers.” Worse, “L.A. County Sheriff Lee Baca is also buckling under political pressure. In recent newspaper articles he indicated that the Sheriffs’ Department may also cut ties with the Scouts,” the association said.
“If he does, he will follow the City Council in a selective and unfair application of a city ordinance banning discrimination based on sexual orientation,” said information on the association’s website.
“The same ordinance also bans discrimination based on age, gender and religious affiliation,” said the statement. “However, neither the city nor the Sheriffs’ Department is cutting ties with organizations that discriminate between genders (i.e., the Girl Scouts) or that practice age discrimination (i.e., AARP) or have a religious base (i.e., the YMCA).”