The U.S. Supreme Court has refused to hear an appeal by the Boy Scouts of America in a case over the religious aspects of the group.
The U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the Scouts couldn’t lease land in a San Diego, Calif. city park. The court said the group is a religious organization because of its policy of barring gays, agnostics, and atheists from being members or leaders.
The BSA maintains that they have no theology, but only acknowledge in the Scout Oath or Promise that young men have a ‘duty to God’ to be good citizens for their country, which states:
“On my Honor, I will do my best, to do my duty to God and my Country and to obey the Scout Law; To help other people at all times; and to keep myself physically strong, mentally awake and morally straight.”
The American Civil Liberties Union filed the suit on behalf of two couples, one lesbian and the other agnostic. The Scouts have leased part of Balboa Park in San Diego since 1918.
The High Court’s decision not to hear the case sends the issue back to the appellate court for further litigation.
The Scouts have been targeted for lawsuits since the year 2000, when the Court ruled they don’t have to allow gays to serve as troop leaders.