Open Membership with Exclude Lists[edit | edit source]
Rotary, Toastmasters, Boy Scouts and other groups, some of them speaking and leadership organizations, have members. In the U.S. Supreme Court's 1987 Rotary case that forced the group to admit women. It is okay to interfere with a private group's association rights stance, as in the Rotary case, the Court wrote: "[T}he state's compelling interest in assuring equal access to women extends to the acquisition of leadership skills and business contacts as well as tangible goods and services."
The Court noted:[edit | edit source]
Rotary is a nonprofit corporation founded in 1905 which (in 1987) has nearly a million members. Although women could not be members, they could attend meetings, give speeches, and receive awards.
- About ten percent of the membership in a typical club moves away or drops out in a given year. Clubs are instructed to "keep a flow of prospects coming" and to gradually enlarge membership.
- Clubs are required to admit any members of any other Rotary Club to their meetings.
- Clubs are encouraged to seek media coverage of their meetings and activities.
The Court concluded:[edit | edit source]
"In sum, Rotary Clubs, rather than carrying on their meetings and activities in an atmosphere of privacy, seek to keep their 'windows and doors open to the whole world.'" For that reason, the Court decided that the sexual discrimination law under consideration in the Rotary case did not unduly interfere with the Rotary Club members' freedom of private association.
Exclusionary rights are less important than extending equal treatment to all people regardless of orientation. This would not even be an issue were it not for laws, cultural practices, rules, and so forth that are based upon a religious doctrine (and even in that case a matter of interpretation of certain words, and selective application of certain caveats....how about undergarments being all of one fiber - why don't we do that one?) I look at this less as an issue of loss of "freedom" for an organization than I do as a loss of freedom of the individual.
While you might argue that one is free to go and make another organization -- what you are doing is "balkanizing" - so we get a gay scouts group, a non-white scouts group, etc etc - all because we would allow each group to be as exclusionary as it wishes?
Come on - aren't gated communities enough?
Have you any idea how many gay youth choose (or at least consider) ending their lives because of this exclusion and the abuse they face?