Tuesday, October 17, 2006

In the Navy, Come on and Join Your Fellow Man

The SCOTUS denied cert in the Berkeley Sea Scouts case (LA Times coverage here). The Supreme Court of California held that Berkeley and other cities can condition subsidies or use of city services on non-discrimination agreements. The Sea Scouts (and presummably the BSA) disagree. They argued in BSA v. Dale, 530 US 640 (2000) that they should be free to discriminate on account of race and religion while complaining that cities should subsidize activities that further such discrimination.

Actually, the khutzpa is grander than that. They actually demand *cough* equal treatment by the City. Conservative organizations like the Pacific Legal Foundation (which funded the appeal in this case and filed an amicus brief in Phillip Morris challenging high punitive damages) feel that organizations with "traditional values" are being discriminated against. The "traditional values" pursued by Bob Jones University were not entitled to federal subsidy by way of tax breaks. Is this what modern conservatism is about? Cloaking bigotry under a free speech argument and then suing for government funds?

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5 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

As an Eagle Scout, I'm quite glad that I was part of the organization. I learned huge amounts from mentors (no sex jokes please!) and made some friends that are still important to me today. The hundreds of hours of community service that I took part in taught me alot about helping the community.

However, the fact that BSA and its affiliates refuse to come into line with what is now known as commonsense is a sad and detrimental blemish on an otherwise hugely beneficial organization. While they can do whatever they chose, to expect government funding for a discriminating group or club is something that is no longer reasonable.

10/17/2006 7:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As for Armen's comment about conservatives. I think the answer, from the last 12 years of Republican rule, is yes.

10/17/2006 8:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Granted I fall more into the libertarian end of the Republican Party, but I am pleased that the City of Berkeley won't be required to grant a discounted berth to the Sea Scouts. As the operator of the marina, they are under no obligation to give special favors to groups that break City policies.

I might be singing a different song if the City declared that the Sea Scouts were not allowed to rent a berth at full price as that could be a more hostile attack on free speech and an overassertion of power by the city government. But, fortunately, that isn't the case.

10/17/2006 10:23 PM  
Blogger stacita said...

armen, it's CHUTZPAH. not khutzpa.

you're such an anti-semite.

10/19/2006 3:04 PM  
Blogger Armen said...

Re: Stacita.

10/19/2006 3:35 PM  

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