James Dale files a lawsuit against the Monmouth Council of the Boy Scouts of America and the Boy Scouts of America under a state law that took effect this year prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.
In 1990 Dale's membership in the Boy Scouts was revoked and he was fired as an assistant Scoutmaster when the Scouts found out he was gay. He's asking the court to have him reinstated and award him compensatory damages.
James Dale, who was an Eagle Scout with 30 merit badges, explains:
"I've realized that it's wrong to walk away from an entire organization just because some people at the top are preaching hate. ...
I owe it to the organization to point out to them how bad and wrong this policy is. Being proud about who I am is something the Boy Scouts taught me. They taught me to stand up for what I believe in. ..
I want to get back my right and privilege to be active as an adult scouter. This isn't a vendetta against every Boy Scout in Monmouth County or in America. There's nothing wrong with the Boy Scouts except that they discriminate."
Blake Louis, spokesman of the Boy Scouts of America, based in Dallas, insists that homosexuals are unworthy of being in Scouting: "We don't think a homosexual presents a role model that's consistent with the expectations of mainstream American families."
James Kay, the executive director of the Monmouth Council, agrees: "The issue is purely and simply one that says we have a right to set standards for membership."