“Rising Dissent and Lawsuits Pushed Scouts to Change”

I’m so far behind in posting notable lawsuit news. I have no reasonable excuse so I won’t bother yammering stuff. Instead, let’s get right to the news:

The president of the Boy Scouts of America called for an end to the organization’s ban on openly gay leaders amid the looming threat of lawsuits.

Source: Rising Dissent and Lawsuits Pushed Scouts to Change.

Erik Eckholm’s first paragraph says it all:

As Robert M. Gates, the president of the Boy Scouts of America, called Thursday for an end to the organization’s ban on openly gay leaders, the group was already facing state civil rights investigations in New York and Colorado and the looming threat of lawsuits that the Scouts seemed almost certain to lose.

Recently, a Francophone cousin (who’s a professor of French lit at one of our NYC colleges) was saying that it seems in this country all conflicts go to lawsuits. Everybody sues, he said. He said that in France the first move, so to speak, is protest, marches, strikes and that’s how people get laws to change in France.

“Why isn’t there open protest to change laws here?” he asked.

There was, I told him (and this discussion came right after the major civil rights demonstrations and protests all over the country), but pointed out that in our huge, monumentally diverse country (not to say monumentally, angrily divided), moving law, moving legislatures–not even just in times of the political divisions we have now in our legislatures–takes a long, long time. A country as relatively small as France can be a lot more nimble.

But lawsuits, I pointed out, can push legislation, can change people’s minds, can change things.

The news about the Boy Scouts validates my argument, an argument I have made here numerous times. It’s all in that New York Times headline: “Rising dissent and lawsuits pushed Scouts to change.”

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