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About The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current | View Entire Issue (March 4, 1998)
Boy Scouts violate
Brown Daily Herald
Providence, R.I. (U-Wire) - Three years
ago, the U.S. Supreme Court heard Hurley vs.
Irish-American Gay, Lesbian & Bisexual
Group of Boston. Hurley helped organize a
St. Patrick’s Day parade, and when gay rights
activists asked to march, he sued diem, claim
ing his First Amendment right to associate or
not associate with whomever he pleased.
Ihe notoriously conservative Supreme
Court ruled in favor of Hurley, who was evi
dently within his rights to exclude pro-homo
sexual messages from his parade.
Monday, the New Jersey Court of Appeals
proved itself more honorable than the High
Court. A three-judge panel ruled the Boy
Scouts of America’s ban on gays violates the
state’s anti-discrimination law. The Boy
Scouts used much the same defense as Hurley
used three years ago - that as a private group,
it decides “who can and cannot join.”
But the court ruled that because the Boy
Scouts are essentially a public service (despite
their private status), it must obey the law.
Regardless of how judges water down
their decisions with jargon and legal techni
calities, they know gay rights are a moral
issue. The answer to the question of where
morality lies in the Boy Scout case should
come easily after hearing both sides.
The plaintiff, James Dale, was kicked out
of the Boy Scouts when the group found out
he was gay in 1990. The spokesman for the
Boy Scouts argued that his organization “has
a right... to teach youth the traditional values
that it has taught since 1910 and to establish
memhershin and leadershin standards ”
The Boy Scouts have long been consid
ered the moral bedrock of American society -
the organization that will guarantee
America’s continued moral superiority. When
America’s moral center is forced to accept
gays, it makes us feel like gay rights might be
Unfortunately, legally speaking, the New
Jersey decision does not mandate that the Boy
Scouts of America let in gays. It does not
declare discriminatory practices against
homosexuals unconstitutional. All it means is
that in New Jersey, legal protection for gays
and lesbians must be extended to members of
the Boy Scouts, v
Still, if the lower courts continue to chal
lenge discrimination against gays and les
bians, then the Supreme Court will have to
overrule them every time, positively affirm
ing the moral and legal acceptability of
But if the Supreme Court justices have
any of the integrity that is supposed to be a
requirement for their appointments, then per
haps they will be shamed into doing the right
Unsigned editorials are the opinions of
the Spring 1998 Daily Nebraskan. They
do not necessarily reflect the views of the
University of Nebraska-Lincoln, its
employees, its student body or the
University of Nebraska Board of Regents.
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‘Bricks’ of drinking
Alcohol abuse hurts the innocent
Drunken drivers destroy not only the lives
of others, but their own lives as well”
KATYA OVCHARENKO is
a freshman English
major and a Daily
This week in Cather Residence
Hall there is a program about alco
hol. One part of the program is a
wall with paper bricks on it, where
anyone can write and share his or
her bitter experience with alcohol
anonymously. It says: “Alcohol
abuse touches everyone’s life.
Please put your brick on the wall.”
Reading the terrible examples -
that students wrote there, I thought
how many hearts and lives were
My mom is an aicononc ana
none of us kids go home anymore.”
Drinking had stolen a mother from
her kids! Children had to leave their
homes, places that should have -
become their shelter for the rest of
their lives; they had to abandon
their mother whose personality was
destroyed by alcohol.
“My best friend was killed in a
drunk driving accident.”
“My 17-year-old cousin was
killed by a drunk driver when she
was taking her infant nephew for a
Best friends and relatives just
disappear. Lives fade in the middle
of flourishing. Life is simply taken
from these people.
“I was at a party and got drunk
and was raped.”
And now, think how this girl
will learn to trust people again:
How can she forget that? The bleed
ing wounds will remain. They won’t
heal. The memories will bring her
back again and again to that party.
“My friends were driving and
were all drunk and got in an acci
dent. One is now paralyzed and just
learned how to walk again.”
Drunken drivers destroy not
only the lives of others, but their
own lives as well.
I want to have a look at this
problem. Why is it such a wide
spread problem in America?
I’m not trying to emphasize that
alcohol is a problem only in
America, but in this country more
attention is paid to it.
The happy birthday of 21 brings
us freedom: We are allowed to
drink! But by that time, most of us
are not excited about drinking,
because we already have had
enough of it.
1 here s hardly anything interest
ing here for teen-agers to do. They
are involved in many things in their
high schools, but apart from school
they are left to their own devices.
Are them a lot of things they can
do? Do they go to performance the
aters or discotheques? And what
kinds of activities are they interest
ed in? Partying and cruising - it’s
almost all they can do to entertain
themselves and not be bored to
And there is hardly a party with
out alcohol. The most frequent
response to the question, “What did
you do this weekend?” is “Well, I
was hanging out with my friends on
Friday and Saturday. Nothing spe
cial, just drinking beer.” Of course,
I agree people are different, and
therefore not everyone is supposed
to go out and drink every weekend.
But, on the other hand, staying at
home knowing your friends are hav
ing a good time is not the way out.
It£ important to be conscious
enough and to see yourself as a part
of a community in which everyone
is tied together, in which the dam
age in one link may cause the ruin
of the whole chain. There’s a perfect
rule of life saying “Do whatever
you want to enjoy yourself, but do
not disturb others!”
This is the real freedom.
Freedom of living in a society, with
respect to the other members of it.
The best friend woulcf^’t be ki ttf . j|
the girl wouldn’t be raped, kids
would have a real family and there
would be no hurt. If only people
could follow this golden nde....
You may argue and say America
is the country of freedom and we
are free to do what we want, but
again, this is the country of respect.
Why do we have to be problematic
to the world we live in?
I don t want to bnng up all that
stuff about how alcohol influences
your health, as well as your physi
cal, mental and spiritual states. You
all know this and heard about it a
long time ago. In the case of alco
hol abuse, it’s the society’s problem
already, not just your own.
I’m strongly against drinking of
any kind, even if it’s only two chns "•
of beer. If alcohol abuse touched
your life or the lives of the people
you care about, you’d never get
drunk. You’d never cause the situa
tion in which innocentpepple iouidj
die just because you ruled yourlett*
up with beer without thinking of the
Does that mean you have to go |
through the loss and hurt to under
stand the seriousness of alcohol
problems? Of course not.
But next time, before you go to
a bar or a party to get drunk, try to
think beforehand. It may happen to
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