A proposal before the California Supreme Court could prohibit judges from affiliating with the Boy Scouts due to the Scout’s discrimination against gays and lesbians as troop leaders. The California Judges Association, the state’s judicial organization representing 79 percent of the 2,000 judges, endorsed the ban, but not without backlash from opponents.
If enough judges decide to move forward with the proposal this summer, California would be the 22nd state to use judicial ethic codes with anti-discrimination provisions to forbid judges from affiliating with Boy Scouts.
Back in February, the court’s eight-member ethics advisory, six of whom are judges, unanimously submitted the proposal — reeling in a record 650 comments by last week’s deadline. Responses poured in from lawyers, the public and judges who knocked down the proposal.
“Forcing judges out of the Boy Scouts appears to me to be simply trying to force a liberal political correctness on judges,” Sacramento County Superior Court Judge Roland Candee told the San Francisco Chronicle.
All three San Francisco Superior Court judges who submitted comments — Angela Bradstreet, Kay Tsenin and Carol Yaggy — applauded the proposed ban.
“Just as a judge may not be a member of an organization that individiously discriminates on the basis of gender, ethnicity,race or national origin,” Bradstreet said in an email, “he or she similarly cannot be a member of any organization that invidiously discriminates on the basis of sexual orientation.”
The Scouts repealed a historical policy banning gays as both members and leaders in May 2013 while blacklisting gay and lesbian leaders continues.
If the proposal is adopted, affiliating with the Scouts could led to a removal from the bench for an ethical violation.