[Marxism] Sea Scouts Scuttled at Berkeley Marina

Brian Shannon Brian_Shannon at verizon.net
Thu Jan 12 20:06:58 MST 2006

At Calif. High Court, Outlook Choppy for Subsidy of Sea Scouts
State chief justice: 'Getting on a boat isn't necessarily part of any  
constitutional rights'

Don't expect the Sea Scouts to be mooring their boats for free at the  
Berkeley, Calif., Marina anytime soon.

. . .

"Getting on a boat isn't necessarily part of any constitutional  
rights," Chief Justice Ronald George said.

Berkeley had allowed the Sea Scouts free berthing for their boats  
since the late 1930s when the Mount Diablo Council of the Boy Scouts  
provided 80,000 tons of rock for a breakwater at the marina and a  
road for the city's Aquatic Park. But beginning in 1998, the Sea  
Scouts were charged more than $500 a month after refusing to renounce  
the Boy Scouts' policies of denying membership to homosexuals and  

. . .

Justice Joyce Kennard asked Pleasant Hill, Calif., lawyer Jonathan  
Gordon, who argued the Sea Scouts' case, how the court could  
reconcile Berkeley's antidiscrimination policy with the Boy Scouts'  
judicially recognized right to exclude gays and atheists.

"How would we deal with the tension one could readily see?" she asked.

Gordon responded by saying that Berkeley had "alternative means to  
protest," such as condemning the Boy Scouts' policies in resolutions  
or speaking out and telling kids and their parents to boycott the  

"They can only talk about it?" George asked rather incredulously.  
"They can't take action?"

"If multiple youth organizations are competing for a limited number  
of berths," [Justice Marvin Baxter] asked, "can the city not narrow  
down the applicants to those that don't discriminate?"

When Gordon responded that the city cannot use its policies to force  
its beliefs down the group's throat, Baxter asked whether a "youth Ku  
Klux Klan group" would be "on equal footing for these berths."

"It's unfortunate," Gordon said. "But that's correct."

Earlier, Justice Carlos Moreno had asked Gordon how the Sea Scouts  
would respond if an openly gay person tried to join.

Gordon said the Sea Scouts are "ambivalent" about sexual orientation,  
calling it a private matter of personal choice. "But," he added, "if  
the Boy Scouts came down on us, we would have to exclude that person."



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