Boy Scouts of America and Gay Rights

9780700619511As the Boy Scouts’ president calls for an end to the banning of gay leaders, Richard J. Ellis’s book “Judging the Boy Scouts of America: Gay Rights, Freedom of Association, and the Dale Case” presents the landmark James Dale case from its initial filing in New Jersey through the final decision of the U.S. Supreme Court in favor of the Scouts. In addition to examining the legal issues at stake, including the effect of the Supreme Court’s ruling on the law of free association, Ellis also describes Dale’s personal journey and its intersection with an evolving gay rights movement.  Throughout he seeks to understand the puzzle of why the Boy Scouts would adopt and adhere to a policy that jeopardized the organization’s iconic place in American culture—and, finally, explores how legal challenges and cultural changes contributed to the Scouts’ historic policy reversal in May 2013 that ended the organization’s ban on gay youth–though not gay adults–until now.