NJ Man Who Filed Landmark Legal Challenge to Boy Scouts' Gay Ban Says Change Falls Short

James Dale sued the organization in 1990 after he was removed as an assistant scoutmaster because he was gay

Friday, May 24, 2013  |  Updated 7:37 AM EDT
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NJ Man Who First Fought Scouts' Gay Ban Says Change Falls Short

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The New Jersey man who first challenged the Boy Scouts' ban on gay members says a new policy allowing gay scouts but barring "open or avowed" gay adult leaders is "convoluted."

James Dale tells The Star-Ledger that the policy announced Thursday is troublesome because it tells youngsters "being gay is a youthful indiscretion" and that they will be rejected when they turn 18.

"I wish I could say it’s a step forward, but unfortunately, I think it actually makes things worse," Dale told the paper. "I think it’s a bit of a step backward."

Now 42, he says he does not think parents of gay boys should let them join the organization.

The Middletown native sued in 1990 after he was removed as an assistant scoutmaster because he was gay.

The U.S. Supreme Court eventually ruled in a 5-4 decision that the organization was within its rights to ban gays.

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