In the case of BOY SCOUTS V. DALE, the U.S. Supreme Court rules the Boy Scouts of America can discriminate against Gays and bisexuals saying it is a private organization and not bound by local human rights laws.
There has been opposition to BSA’s membership policies from organizations and individuals. Some within the Scouting movement, as well as long-time Scouting supporters, parents, chartered organizations, and religious organizations have expressed opposition to the policies in ways ranging from protests to forming organizations that advocate inclusiveness.
Some push for a voluntary change within the BSA, others seek involuntary change by filing lawsuits, still others choose to disassociate themselves from the BSA or encourage others to do so. Some public entities and private institutions have ceased financial or other support the BSA, primarily as a result of conflicts between their nondiscrimination policies and the BSA’s membership policies. About 50 of the 1300 local United Ways, including those in Miami, Orlando, Philadelphia, San Francisco, and Seattle, have withdrawn all funding.
The BSA has also lost all funding from several large corporations that had been regular donors, such as Chase Manhattan Bank, Levi Strauss, Fleet Bank, CVS/pharmacy, and Pew Charitable Trusts. For example, Pew Charitable Trusts, which had consistently supported the BSA for over fifty years, decided to cancel a $100,000 donation and cease future donations. A number of public entities (including the cities of Chicago, San Diego, Tempe, Buffalo Grove, Berkeley, and Santa Barbara, as well as the states of California, Illinois, and Connecticut) have canceled charitable donations (of money or preferential land access) that had historically been granted to the Scouts.
Eagle Scout filmmaker Steven Spielberg had been a long-time supporter of Scouting, depicting a young Indiana Jones as a Boy Scout in the 1989 film Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade and helping to create the Cinematography merit badge. Spielberg resigned from the BSA Advisory Council in 2001, saying, “it has deeply saddened me to see the Boy Scouts of America actively and publicly participating in discrimination.” These policies have led to various disputes and controversies. In 2012, both Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney and President Barack Obama stated that they opposed the ban on Gay Scouts.
On May 23, 2013, the BSA’s National Council approved a resolution to remove the restriction denying membership to youth on the basis of sexual orientation alone effective January 1, 2014. The policy for adult leaders remained in place until July 27, 2015.