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Gay Boy Scout Leaders Lose Ruling

November 12, 2002

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WASHINGTON (AP) _ Two gay Boy Scout leaders lost their bid to return to the organization in a decision by an appellate court that overturned an order that the two men be reinstated as troop leaders.

The District of Colombia Court of Appeals decision found that the Boy Scouts of America did not act illegally in barring the two men, Roland D. Pool and Michael Geller. The decision reverses a ruling issued last year by the D.C. Commission on Human Rights.

The appellate court said it based its decision on a June 2000 Supreme Court ruling. The high court declared that the Boy Scouts could bar homosexuals from serving as troop leaders. In that 5-4 decision, justices ruled that forcing the Scouts to accept gay troop leaders would violate the organization’s right of ``expressive association″ under the Constitution’s First Amendment.

In the ruling by the D.C. appeals court, issued Thursday, appellate Judges Michael Farrell, Stephen H. Glickman and Inez Smith Reid said they could not find any significant differences between the two cases.

The Commission on Human Rights had argued otherwise, saying that the troop leader in the Supreme Court case was a gay activist while Pool and Geller made no indication they would advocate homosexuality as Boy Scout leaders.

The appellate court disagreed, saying that the two men had been vocal about their sexual preference.

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On the Net:

District of Colombia Court of Appeals: http://www.dcca.state.dc.us

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