The Washington Post
February 4, 2013

The Boy Scouts of America (BSA) is set to vote Wednesday on whether to scrap its organizational ban on gay membership and to leave decisions on openly gay members up to individual troops. As The Post noted Friday in an editorial, “This cautious plan is not exactly bold moral leadership.” What James Dale proposed on MSNBC’s “Hardball” last week — the BSA should not allow discrimination anywhere in its ranks — makes more sense. “You can’t have children in one troop thinking that discrimination is acceptable and scouts in a neighboring troop to think that discrimination is unacceptable,” said Dale. “The anti-gay policy was top-down. I think that nondiscrimination needs to be top-down as well.” Dale was an assistant scoutmaster and an Eagle Scout until he was booted from scouting because he came out as gay at age 19. That was in 1990. He then filed suit to be reinstated. In 2000, the case made it to the Supreme Court, which decided that the Boy Scouts had a First Amendment right to deny membership to gays.