Welsh v. Boy Scouts of America


Welsh v. Boy Scouts of America

"Welsh v. Boy Scouts of America", 993 F. 2d 1267 (7th Cir. 1993), was a decision by the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit that upheld the right of private organizations to establish their own membership standards.

In 1989, six year old Mark Welsh attempted to sign up for Tiger Cubs, the Boy Scouts of America's Scouting program for six- and seven-year olds. To become a member of Tiger Cubs, each child must have an "Adult Partner", typically a parent, who also becomes a member of the organization. Mark's father, Elliot Welsh, an agnostic, informed a BSA official that he did not want to sign the "Declarations of Religious Principles" section of the Adult application. The Boy Scouts of America, therefore, denied Mr. Welsh membership, thereby also denying Mark membership. One year later, when Mark had reached the age of elibility for Cub Scouts (who do not require Adult partners), he was still denied admission into the Scouting organization as he refused to repeat the phrase "to do my duty to God and my country" in the Cub Scout Promise.

In 1991, the Welshes sued, alleging that the Boy Scouts of America's membership requirements amounted to unlawful discrimination under the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

The U.S. District Court ruled against the Welshes, holding that Boy Scouts of America did not qualify as a place of public accommodation under the statute and thus did not engage in unlawful discrimination. In 1993, the U.S. Court of Appeals upheld the ruling, and the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear the case.

ee also

*Barnes-Wallace v. Boy Scouts of America
*Boy Scouts of America membership controversies
*Curran v. Mount Diablo Council of the Boy Scouts of America
*Winkler v. Rumsfeld

External links

* [http://www.bsa-discrimination.org/Welsh_Appeal_Decision.PDF Full text of the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeal's decision] (.pdf)
* [http://www.bsa-discrimination.org/html/welsh-top.html Summary of the Case] at a site critical of the Boy Scouts of America's policies.
* [http://www.bsalegal.org/quot;dut-155.htm Boy Scouts of America's discussion] of the Welsh case.


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