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At Yale and in the Boy Scouts, Freedom of Association Is in the Crosshairs

April 21, 2014 in Economics

By Roger Pilon

Roger Pilon

The Daily Caller’s morning e-mail today brings us two brief stories that capture nicely the growing intolerance of the Left for people and groups holding views with which they disagree. One arises from a decision by Yale’s Social Justice Network (SJN) of Dwight Hall to deny membership to the school’s Choose Life at Yale (CLAY) group. The second concerns a proposed California ban on judges affiliated with the Boy Scouts. Both illustrate how a bedrock American principle, freedom of association, is increasingly being gutted by the Left’s anti-discrimination agenda.

The Yale case is straightforward. As blogger Katherine Timpf writes, CLAY had been a provisional member of the network for the past year, during which its members did voluntary work with a local non-profit organization that helped pregnant women. But the vote last week, making CLAY the first group to be denied full membership in the network, denies CLAY further access to the hall’s resources such as funding, vehicles, and meeting spaces. Timpf points to an opinion piece written by the chair of the Yale chapter of the ACLU, itself a member of the SNJ group, urging the group not to admit CLAY because it would “divert funds away from groups that do important work pursuing actual social justice.”

That’s par for the course on today’s campuses. It’s training for the real world, as seen in the California case. Here, blogger Patrick Howley writes:

The California Supreme Court Advisory Committee on The Code of Judicial Ethics has proposed to classify the Boy Scouts as practicing “invidious discrimination” against gays, which would end the group’s exemption to anti-discriminatory ethics rules and would prohibit judges from being affiliated with the group.

These politically-driven changes in status could not be limited to the Boy Scouts, of course, but it’s a start. That point was made in a letter to the committee from Catherine Short, legal director of the pro-life group Life Legal Defense Foundation. The Girl Scouts, numerous pro-life and religious groups, even the military practice “discrimination” of one kind or another, she wrote.

The distinction between private and public and the further distinction between reasonable and unreasonable discrimination are being undermined.”

Years ago when I was a scout leader as my son was growing up I read a lengthy insert in the handbook meant for leaders. It concerned sexual exploitation and the need for scout leaders to …read more

Source: OP-EDS

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