Holder: If Gay Adults Are Fit for Military Service, They Are Fit to Lead Boy Scouts
The Attorney General of the United States told a homosexual advocacy group on Tuesday night that the Boy Scouts of America “preserves and perpetuates the worst kind of stereotypes” by refusing to allow homosexuals to serve as Boy Scout troop leaders.
“Today, courageous lesbian, gay, and bisexual individuals routinely put their lives on the line as members of America’s armed services,” Holder told Lambda Legal Tuesday night. “And if these men and women are fit for military service, then surely they are fit to mentor, to teach, and to serve as role models for the leaders of future generations.”
In June 2000, the U.S. Supreme Court, in a 5–4 ruling, said the Boy Scouts had a constitutional right, as a private organization, to exclude homosexuals from leadership positions.
Almost nine years later, President Obama came into office, pledging to repeal the military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy. In December 2010, he signed a bill passed by the Democrat-majority Congress repealing the ban on homosexual men and women serving openly in the armed services.
Holder received a warm reception Tuesday night at the Lambda Legal reception, where he promised that the fight for civil rights and “LGBT equality” remains a “top priority,” not only for the Justice Department, but “for me personally.”
Lambda Legal posted a portion of his speech — the part relating to Boy Scouts — on its website, as follows:
And in far too many organizations, policies and practices that discriminate against LGBT individuals remain persistent concerns. Lambda Legal is among the groups that have led efforts to address these conditions – for instance, through your work in 1992, in Boy Scouts of America v. Dale, to challenge the termination of an Assistant Scoutmaster when the organization found out he was gay.
Unfortunately, the continuation of a policy that discriminates against gay adult leaders – by an iconic American institution – only preserves and perpetuates the worst kind of stereotypes. Like “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” it’s a relic of an age of prejudice and insufficient understanding.