The Supreme Court And The Advancement Of The Gay Rights Movement Essay example

The Supreme Court And The Advancement Of The Gay Rights Movement Essay example

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The history of The relationship that exists between the U.S Supreme Court and the advancement of Gay Rights has been precarious, to say the least. The Supreme Courts ruling in favour of homosexuals in the 1958 case of One,Inc v Oleson was monumental for the advancement of the gay rights movement. However, the 5-4 majority decision in Bowers v. Hardwick in 1986, which decided that consenting adults did not have a right to engage in homosexual acts in private, set the movement the back. Romer v. Evans in 1996 got things back on track when the courts struck down 6-3 Colorado 's Amendment 2, which denied gays and lesbians protection against discrimination. Justice Kennedy said” we find nothing special in the protections Amendment 2 withholds. These protections... constitute ordinary civil life in a free society.” So, how then did the Supreme Court end up deciding in the year 2000 that the Boy Scouts of America had a constitutional right to ban gays because the organizations opposition to homosexuality as part of its expressive association? How did the Supreme Court justify its 5-4 decision to overturn a New Jersey state law banning discrimination against homosexuals in places of public accommodation and what impact did this ruling have on the gay rights movement nationally? This paper will seek to answer these questions by first looking at the facts of the case, important cases used,then discussing the findings of the Supreme Court, followed by an analysis of the impact this case had on the gay rights movement in the United States of America.

Facts of the Case and the Lower Courts Decisions

In 1978 James Dale joined the Boy Scouts of America 's Monmouth Council Cub Scout Pack 142 and went on to become a Boy Scout in 1981.In his 10...


... middle of paper ...


...sage to its members and the world that the Boy Scouts approve of homosexual behaviour. The Supreme Court upon consideration of the less than compelling evidence presented by the Boy Scouts determined that the Boy Scouts qualified as an expressive association and that the forced inclusion of Dale would significantly affect its expression and concluded that the application of New Jersey 's public accommodations law to require that the Boy Scouts accept Dale as a member would violate the Boy Scouts First Amendment right of freedom of expressive association and that New Jersey 's state interest to protect its citizens from discrimination did not justify the severe intrusion that would be placed upon the Boy Scouts right of freedom of expressive association by forcing them to admit Dale because “the First Amendment protects expression, be it of the popular variety or not.”

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