While New York City is purported
to be the "birthplace" of the gay rights movement in the United States (Stonewall Riots), it seems that activism has died in the Big Apple.
After the Curran trial, many councils found themselves having to defend BSA's policy of discriminating against gay youth. In San Francisco, the Bay Area UW pulled funding, as did many large companies based in San Francisco. But what about the largest city in the country -- New York? Not a peep.
There was some rumbling, but for whatever reason, the Greater New York Councils (GNYC) never felt much public pressure to end their discriminatory practices. While it is true that the GNYC proposed a resolution to BSA National to end it's discriminatory practices, it was rejected by BSA National. Having publicly acknowledged the immorality of BSA's policy, the GNYC continued to enforce this policy.
When some pressure was brought to bear on the GNYC by some public schools, the GNYC responded with a "non-discrimination policy." It was hailed by the press as a milestone. Below is that statement:
"The Greater New York Councils, Boy Scouts of America, is in business to help all children in the five boroughs of New York City. As the most diverse youth organization In the most diverse community in the country, we are committed to this mission and we oppose any form of unlawful discrimination. All of our members repeatedly pledge to respect all people and defend the rights of others. Prejudice,
intolerance, and unlawful discrimination any form are unacceptable, within the ranks of the Greater New York Councils, Boy Scouts of America."
The key phrase in this statement is: unlawful discrimination. As the Supreme Court of the United States ruled in Dale that BSA can legally discriminate on the grounds of both religious belief and
sexual orientation, this statement means nothing. It only reinforces the GNYC's ability to discriminate against youth on the basis of both sexual orientation and religious belief.
If the GNYC truly believed in the Scout Law, they would forgo the legal mumbo jumbo and come out and assert the very right they won in the Dale decision -- the right to discriminate. Not only assert this "right," but acknowledge that they will exercise this "right," by excluding openly
gay youth and those youth who do not meet their religious test. Instead, they have the unmitigated gall to spin their discriminatory policy in their Position Statement.
Unfortunately, the public, the press and the gay community in New York City have allowed the GNYC to have a free ride. This has only encouraged other councils (e.g.:, Philadelphia, Boston, etc.) to follow with similarly worded deceptive policies.