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ROUNDTABLE TO DISCUSS CASE OF BOY SCOUTS EXPELLING GAY MEMBERS

Abstract

Monday, April 3, 2000

WRITER: Matt Haney, (706) 542-5172

CONTACT: Assoc. Professor Richard Nagareda, (706) 542-5433, nagareda@arches.uga.edu

ROUNDTABLE TO DISCUSS CASE OF BOY SCOUTS EXPELLING GAY MEMBERS

ATHENS, Ga. - A roundtable discussion panel will meet Wednesday, April 5, 2000 at 12:30 p.m. in Room J of the University of Georgia School of Law to discuss the pending U.S. Supreme Court case over whether the Boy Scouts of America can expel gay members. The forum is sponsored by the Federalist Society, a law student organization, and is open and free to the public.

"The litigation in Boy Scouts of America v. Dale places in sharp conflict two major themes in modern American constitutional law: the vigorous enforcement of anti-discrimination laws and the preservation of private enclaves of thought and action insulated from regulation by the government," says Associate Professor Richard Nagareda, faculty advisor to the Federalist Society. "How far can the government go in telling a private, non-commercial organization what persons it must admit or retain in its membership? If the State of New Jersey can apply to the Boy Scouts a statutory prohibition on discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, does the ban in the same statute upon discrimination on the basis of sex also apply to the Boy Scouts? Is there any real difference between the Scouts and the sorts of business-related organizations, like the Jaycees, which the Court has held must admit women? The speakers at the upcoming roundtable panel come to these questions from a truly diverse range of perspectives -- views that are bound to produce a highly informative discussion of interest not just to gay Americans but to all Americans."

The Supreme Court case concerns a New Jersey boy who was expelled from the Boy Scouts because he is gay. The New Jersey Supreme Court ruled the action taken by the Boy Scouts violated a state law prohibiting discrimination of the basis of sexual orientation. The Boy Scouts of America subsequently appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Panelists for the roundtable will be Allen Post Professor of Law Paul Heald, Associate Professor Richard Nagareda, and Professor Stefanie Lindquist of the UGA political science department.

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