California bans judges from anti-gay Boy Scouts


california_judges_banned_from_boy_scoutsAdding to pressure to change its anti-gay policies, California Supreme Court judges have been barred from participating in the Boy Scouts of America (BSA).

The court’s judicial ethics rules previously already prohibited judges from holding membership in any organisation that “practices invidious discrimination on the basis of race, sex, gender, religion, national origin, ethnicity, or sexual orientation.”

Exceptions, however, were allowed for non-profit youth organisations, but this has been removed, effectively no longer allowing judges to be part of the BSA movement.

Now, only membership in a religious organisation remains exempt from the rules. Judges will have until January 21, 2016 to comply with the new regulation.

The BSA only allowed openly gay youth to become Scouts for the first time in early 2014, but it continues to ban openly gay adult Scout leaders.

“The move on the part of California’s judges to bar participation in groups like BSA mirrors what we are seeing among corporate allies of equality – a widespread rejection of the organisation’s stubborn unwillingness to join the 21st century,” said the Human Rights Campaign’s Deena Fidas.

“In maintaining its practice of anti-LGBT discrimination, BSA undermines its own stated commitment to communities and youth, as well as its own survival as companies increasingly pull funding and resources from discriminatory groups,” she added.

America’s Attorney General, Eric Holder, has criticised the BSA’s refusal to allow openly gay Scout leaders as perpetuating “the worst kind of stereotypes.”

Because the BSA is a private organisation, the US courts have upheld its right to apply membership restrictions, even if these are discriminatory.

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