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Calif. Supreme Court could ban judges from joining Boy Scouts

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (BP)–The California Supreme Court is considering a proposal that would forbid the state’s judges from joining the Boy Scouts because of its refusal to accept homosexuals.

California judges are prohibited from joining groups that discriminate based on sexual orientation, but nonprofit youth organizations are exempt. The Supreme Court took up the proposal to consider changing the rule at the request of bar associations in San Francisco and Los Angeles, according to a report in The New York Times.

A spokesman for the Boy Scouts of America denounced the Dec. 19 decision.

“It would be wrong, inappropriate and unconstitutional,” the spokesman, Gregg Shields, told The New York Times. “The proposed policy would be just as inappropriate as a policy forbidding judges from being Roman Catholic or Baptist or Orthodox Jewish or any of numerous faiths which share the Boy Scouts’ views.”

The California proposal would change rules in the state’s Code of Judicial Ethics. The exemption of “nonprofit youth organizations” was tailored to the Scouts.

“The Boy Scouts do a lot of terrific work, but it is inappropriate for any judge to be a member of any organization that practices invidious discrimination,” said attorney Angela Bradstreet in a San Francisco Chronicle interview.

In 2000, the United States Supreme Court decided that the Boy Scouts could decline to accept homosexual members.

Last July, Superior Court judges in San Francisco announced that they would cut all ties to the Scouts, unless local chapters accepted homosexuals.

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