Friday, March 10, 2006
Bury your face in your hands
Ugh. Or, if you prefer the less informative version, Ugh. (I won't even link the AP story, which leaves out all the relevant details.)
The Sea Scouts have been denied a government-subsidized berth because they discriminate against gays. Oh, wait, check that, actually, no one accused them of discrimination. They're being denied the berth because they are affiliated with Boy Scouts of America. (this is the relevant detail the AP story leaves out) In order to get the berth, they would have to swear a loyalty oath to the City of Berkeley that they will never discriminate. The Courts have said that this is okay.
Imagine, for a moment, a Muslim non-porift organization was held to the same standard, and in order to get subsidized stuff they would have to swear that they will not discriminate against gays like many Muslim organizations and governments do. Of course, in that case, Berkeley would never have raised the issue, because it doesn't offer them a chance to nail Christians, as folks like Kriss Worthington freely admitted was their motivation. Here's how Worthington responded:
"I hadn't sought a fight with the Boy Scouts," he said. "It would have been so much healthier if they had spent their money on the kids instead of fighting for the right to discriminate."
Wow. If only Berkeley hadn't acted as it did, not only would the Sea Scouts have been able to spend that money on the kids, they would've had more money to spend on the kids because of the subsidized berth. But Kriss Worthington being full of crap is nothing new.
City Attorney Manuela Albuquerque is also full of shit, as even the Daily Planet will point out.
"The city is not trying to regulate private clubs," she said. "It is only saying that they don't get to discriminate on the taxpayer's dime."
One of the ironies of the case was that there were no allegations that the Sea Scouts had actually discriminated against any gays or atheists.
Update: Here's what the Chron says:
The message the state Supreme Court sent Thursday to a Boy Scouts affiliate seeking a rent break from Berkeley was the same message the nation's highest court delivered earlier this week to law schools challenging military recruiters: If you accept the government's money, you live by the government's rules.
The analogy is severely flawed, of course, because the government rules in the Supreme Court case involved actions, the government rules in this case involve loyalty oaths, but no actual action.
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