Ruling in Pool and Geller v. BSA 06/21/01
Summersgill asks Vance for action on DCPS policy regarding Boy Scouts
PO Box 75265
Washington, DC 20013
September 5, 2001
Paul L. Vance
District of Columbia Public Schools
825 North Capitol Street, N.E., 9th Floor
Washington, DC 20002-4232
Dear Mr. Vance:
As you are no doubt aware, the Boy Scouts of America have been found in violation of the DC Human Rights Act for discriminating against two gay Eagle Scouts who wanted to serve as scout leaders. The local Boy Scout Council is appealing this decision and have made no move to comply with the Commission on Human Rights' order.
The DC Human Rights Act states in part:
§ 2-1402.67. Compliance with chapter prerequisite for licenses.
All permits, licenses, franchises, benefits, exemptions, or advantages issued by or on behalf of the government of the District of Columbia, shall specifically require and be conditioned upon full compliance with the provisions of this chapter; and shall further specify that the failure or refusal to comply with any provision of this chapter shall be a proper basis for revocation of such permit, license, franchise, benefit, exemption, or advantage.
As your letter to Councilmember Jack Evans on July 16, 2001 indicates, the Boy Scouts, Cub Scouts and Explorers have a preferential relationship with the DC Public Schools which is clearly a "benefit" or "advantage." That preferential relationship must be revoked until such time as the Boy Scouts comply with the Human Rights Act and cease their discriminatory practices.
Each school within the DC Public Schools must be notified immediately that recruitment by the Boy Scouts or Cub Scouts must cease. Recruiting posters, school programs, or direct sponsorship of scout troops are in violation of the DC Human Rights Act and must not be tolerated.
The Boy Scouts may, as any other community organization, use DC Public School buildings, but only on an equal basis with any other private or religious group, outside of normal school hours. The use of DC Public Schools should be clearly seen as one of equal access and not sponsored or endorsed by the DC Public Schools.
Following these basic guidelines will keep the DC public Schools and the District of Columbia in compliance with both federal and local laws related to the Boy Scouts.
Please let us know what action you have taken.
Cc: DC School Board
Charles Holman III, Director of the Office of Human Rights