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Curran v. Mount Diablo Council of the Boy Scouts of America

California Supreme Court


Filed in 1981, this was the oldest pending challenge to the Boy Scouts' antigay policies. This case, brought by former Eagle Scout Tim Curran, asserted that the Boy Scouts of America's policy excluding all "known or avowed homosexuals" from membership in the Scouts violates California's law prohibiting discrimination by business establishments.

The California Supreme Court ruled on March 23, 1998 that the Boy Scouts is not subject to California's antidiscrimination law. Because the ruling was based solely on state law, it ends this case. Efforts to change the Boy Scouts' antigay policy continue on in Lambda Legal's Dale case in New Jersey and in lawsuits currently pending in Chicago and Washington, D.C. In addition, the California Supreme Court's ruling led to very positive editorials criticizing the Boy Scouts' policy from such diverse sources as the Los Angeles Times, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the Pittsburg Post-Gazette, the Daily Iowan, the San Francisco Chronicle, the Dayton Daily News, and the Arizona Daily Star.

Curran was represented by Jon Davidson, who became involved when he was staff counsel at the ACLU of Southern California and continued in this case on the ACLU's behalf, along with ACLU/SC Staff Attorney Taylor Flynn. Lambda Legal acted as co-counsel.

Updated: May 9, 1998


Curran v. Mount Diablo Council of the Boy Scouts of America
California Supreme Court

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Issue: Youth and Schools