N.J. man who sued Boy Scouts over gay ban says change falls short

James Dale

James Dale

NEWARK, N.J. — The New Jersey man who first challenged the Boy Scouts‘ ban on gay members says a new policy allowing gay scouts but barring “open or avowed” homosexual adult leaders is “convoluted.”

James Dale tells The New Jersey Star-Ledger that the policy announced Thursday is troublesome because it tells youngsters “being gay is a youthful indiscretion” and and that “there’s no future for you.”

James Dale

Dale, now 42, said Thursday night he was less concerned about whether men his age could participate in Scouting than about what the new policy says to Scouting’s youngest gay members. “This doesn’t give younger gays a future,” he said. “The Boy Scouts are still sending a destructive message.”

Given the policy flip-flop that kicks in once a Scout turns 18, he said he didn’t think parents of gay children should let them become Scouts, “knowing they’ll eventually be rejected.”

The Middletown, N.J., native sued the Boy Scouts in 1990 after he was removed as an assistant scoutmaster because of his sexual orientation.

The U.S. Supreme Court eventually ruled in a 5-4 decision that the organization was within its rights to ban gays.

James Dale tells his story in this video produced by GLAAD:

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