Defense Department Ends Sponsorship of Boy Scouts Given Religious Discrimination Charges

November 15, 2004

Source: ACLU Press Release

On November 15, 2004 ACLU Press Release reported, "in response to a religious discrimination lawsuit brought by the American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois, the Defense Department today agreed to end direct sponsorship of hundreds of Boy Scout units, which require members to swear religious oaths, on military facilities across the United States and overseas... Previously, Defense Department units held charters to lead hundreds of Boy Scout troops and Cub Scout packs, which exclude youths who do not believe in God. Additionally, the Boy Scouts of America requires troop and pack leaders, in this case government employees, to compel youth to swear an oath of duty to God. The ACLU of Illinois charged that the Boy Scouts’ policy violates the religious liberty of youth who wish to participate but do not wish to swear a religious oath, and that direct government sponsorship of such a program is religious discrimination."