Thursday, November 14, 2013

Boy Scouts of America v. Dale case brief

Boy Scouts of America v. Dale case brief summary
530 U.S. 640 (2000)

On writ of certiorari to the Supreme Court of New Jersey, petitioners national and regional not-for profit organization appealed judgment that application of state public accommodations law, N.J. Stat. Ann. §§ 10:5-4, 10:5-5 (2000), did not violate their U.S Constitutional Amendment I freedom of association. Respondent alleged petitioners violated state statute and common law by revoking his organization membership due to sexual orientation.

Respondent's complaint alleged petitioners association and one of its divisions violated New Jersey's public accommodations law, N.J. Stat. Ann. §§ 10:5-4, 10:5-5 (2000), and common law, by revoking his membership because of his sexual orientation. Petitioners appealed the judgment that held application of the statute violated U.S Constitutional Amendment I.

  • The Court found that the group's mission was to instill values in youth by adult leaders' expressions and examples. 
  • The official position was that avowed homosexuals were not to be group leaders. 
  • Respondent admitted public advocacy of homosexuality. 
  • His presence would have forced a message that the group accepted homosexual conduct. 
  • That a heterosexual member might openly disagree with the policy was irrelevant. 
  • The group's official position was sufficient for U.S. Constitutional Amendment I freedom of association purposes. 
  • The state's interests embodied in the statute did not justify such severe intrusion on the group's rights to freedom of expressive association. U.S. Constitutional Amendment I prohibited the state from imposing such a requirement by application of its public accommodations law. 
  • The judgment was reversed.
The judgment was reversed, and the cause was remanded for further proceedings.

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