- The Washington Times - Thursday, November 30, 2000

The civil rights movement has been hijacked by counter-culture radicals and "gonadal politics" extremists (to borrow Ralph Nader's phraseology), but no one wants to talk about it. That the Boy Scouts of America can be denounced on "civil rights" grounds for eschewing homosexuality is a measure of just how far off-track things have gotten since the days of Martin Luther King and "Letters from a Birmingham jail."

On Tuesday, the Los Angeles City Council, bowing to pressure exerted by belligerent gay rights activists voted to sever all ties with the Boy Scouts. "All city departments will be audited," according to a Reuters wire service account, "to determine whether contractual relationships exist with Boy Scout affiliates," and if such are found, they are to be terminated immediately. Henceforth the Scouts will also be required to pay to use facilities, such as parks and pools, that had previously been made available at no cost to the youth group's members. And the Los Angeles Police Department will dismantle its Explorers unit a cadet training program in which older Boy Scouts had the opportunity to embark upon a potential career in law enforcement.

The 11-0 vote by the council was, in effect, a legislative retort to the recent Supreme Court decision in which the justices ruled that the Boy Scouts may exclude from leadership ranks homosexuals and others, such as atheists, who do not abide by the organization's central tenets and core values.

How sad that it has come to this. A venerable, well-regarded youth group that has done nothing worse than espouse formerly uncontroversial values is now in danger of being demonized by a small but vocal political minority. If the Scout Oath and being "morally straight" are indefensible examples of "bigotry" and "discrimination," then the civil rights movement has indeed been turned on its head.

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