ACRU

Boy Scouts of America v. Barnes-Wallace

The City of San Diego has long leased two properties to the San Diego unit of the Boy Scouts of America in return for the construction, operation and maintenance of youth recreational facilities. The Scouts have spent millions on the two properties over the years, providing first class recreation operations open to the public on a first-come, first-served basis. Many, many thousands who are not Boy Scouts use these facilities every year. Nevertheless, a lesbian couple with a male child and an agnostic couple with a male child sued the City and the Boy Scouts over the arrangement. The Plaintiffs allege they are “offended” by the traditional moral values espoused by the Boy Scouts, which they find “repulsive,” and claim they cannot use the facilities because of the “offensiveness of having to deal with the Boy Scouts” administering the facilities (that the Scouts paid for and built themselves). In other words, the two families argue they are suffering an unconstitutional injury because they feel they must avoid a place because of people there who hold different views. The Scouts have now asked the U.S. Supreme Court to review whether the Plaintiffs have standing under the law to even bring this suit in the first place. On May 4, 2009, the ACRU filed an amicus curaie brief with the Court supporting the Scouts, arguing that under the law merely being offended by the views of others is not sufficient for standing, which requires a concrete injury-in-fact.

Read the Brief