Published 12:00 am Wednesday, September 20, 2000

Lee Dresselhaus / L’Observateur / September 20, 2000

So…. I guess maybe I’m missing a point here, but I thought we all had theright to free association.

By that I mean I thought we basically had the right to hang around with whomever we choose. If we like to hang around people who dye their hairpurple, it’s our right to do so. If we like to hang around with people whoare annoying and obnoxious and who scoff at society as a whole, well, we can do just that. The law says we can. Lawyers do it all the time, as amatter of fact. But, here’s the problem I’m having. If we have the right to hang around with anyone we see fit to hang around with, why can’t the Boy Scouts decide who they can let into their private organization? Well, according to the Supreme Court, they can.

Unfortunately the politically-correct left has decided that they can’t.

In a recent decision, the Supreme Court decided that the Scouts are indeed a private group. Therefore the logic follows that they can darn well decidewho can be a member and who can’t. The Scouts decided that an openly gayman wasn’t a good role model for the kids in their organization, probably figuring that a fox guarding the chickens is a bad idea, no matter how noble the intentions of the fox. They also didn’t want to risk the chickensstarting to think they could one day be foxes.

So, when the dismissed openly gay Scout leader appealed, they fought back, arguing that they have the right to decide just who watches their chickens. And they’re right. They do. The Supreme Court says so, and so dothe rules of common sense.

Before I go any further let me say this. I don’t care if you’re gay. That’sfirmly under the banner of “YOUR BUSINESS”. I don’t care who you sleepwith. Do what you want, it’s a free country, baby. Eat, drink, and be Mary,it’s all the same to me. I don’t deign to sit in judgement on what you do inyour bedrooms. It’s your choice. But don’t be upset when you openlyembrace a lifestyle that bothers people and then they don’t want you around their kids. But, that’s not fair, you say? It’s your choice,remember? Well, now the politically correct left is striking back against those mean old, bigoted Scouts. Various companies have vowed to stop makingdonations on behalf of the Scouts because of their stand. If that’s notbowing to the politically-correct, vocal minority I don’t know what is.

And, get this, during the Democratic National Convention a contingent of Boy Scouts who were participating in a flag ceremony were booed by gay rights supporters. Oh, PLEASE. What is wrong with you people?Trying to shove the politically correct view down the throats of everyone else that the Scouts can’t choose not to have gay leaders is about the same as saying that they should also include crusty alcoholics or lurking junkies in their cadre. I mean, an alcoholic or a junkie are victims andmembers of a group who have chosen a lifestyle that is regarded by most folks as an undesirable one. So, following the logic of the politicallycorrect, why should the Scouts be able to exclude them as leaders of children? Not the same thing, you say? Sure it is. It’s a matter of being able tochoose who leads our kids out into the woods.

It’s truly amazing to me that the people who preach tolerance at the tops of their voices are truly the most intolerant people around. If you don’tagree with their points of view they will do anything they can to squish you. They will dry up your funds if they can by getting sympathetic,spineless corporations to bow down so they won’t be labeled as intolerant or bigoted. They will even get sympathetic, spineless legislators tosponsor legislation to revoke the Federal Charter of the Boy Scouts.

Congresswoman Lynn Woolsey, a Democrat (naturally) from California (naturally) actually introduced a bill to revoke the Scouts’ Charter because of the Supreme Court decision to allow the freedom of choice.

Well, this past Wednesday the House actually voted on that bill. It wasvoted out 362 to 12. Wow. Sounds like some strong support for the right offree association to me. Does it mean that everyone who voted against it isanti-gay. No, of course it doesn’t. It does mean, however, that a lot ofpeople still understand what freedom of association is all about. That’s aresounding a defeat if I ever heard of one.

By the way, when the final tally was in and it came back 362 to 12 and you had voted with that 12, wouldn’t you feel stupid? Oh, and one last little thing. The politically correct people are trying hardto destroy, or at least discredit, a group of people who don’t agree with their particular set of values. Isn’t that a hate crime? It sure would be if it were the other way around.

LEE DRESSELHAUS writes this column every Wednesday for L’Observateur.

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