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Leftist Hypocrisy
Saving California from the Sea Scouts…
[Ray Haynes] 1/2306

My leftist friends in the Legislature like to think of themselves as lovers of freedom and the true inheritors of the legacy of our founding fathers. They believe that only they protect the first amendment and the fourteenth amendment (on equal rights), and that they stand between freedom and fascism in California. They believe they are the protectors of the poor and oppressed in our society. Only they have the heart and the head to govern (or so they think).

Pending before the California Supreme Court is the demonstration of their hypocrisy. A few years ago, the Berkeley City Council got mad at an organization known as the Sea Scouts. While the Sea Scouts are affiliated with the Boy Scouts, they are not governed by the Boy Scouts. They are a completely separate organization. For many years, the Sea Scouts were allowed to berth at the Berkeley Marina for free, along with other nonprofit organizations like the Berkeley Yacht Club. That allowed the Sea Scouts to teach underprivileged children in Berkeley the joys of sailing and the sea.


Ray Haynes

Mr. Haynes is an Assembly member representing Riverside and Temecula. He serves on the Appropriations and Budget Committees. [go to Assembly Member Haynes website at California Assembly][go to Haynes index]

They have the word "scouts" in their name, however, and they appreciated their affiliation with the Boy Scouts, since it opened doors to areas and people that helped the Sea Scouts with their mission. It is in this affiliation that their problem began.

You see, several years ago, the United States Supreme Court ruled that the Boy Scouts could determine their own membership rules. They are a private organization, with the first amendment right to freedom of association, and, if the Boy Scouts did not want homosexual Scout leaders, the Court ruled, the government couldn't require them to open up their ranks to homosexuals. This rankled the homosexual activists. They wanted to force the Boy Scouts to utilize homosexual scout leaders, calling the Boy Scouts discriminatory for not doing so. The Boy Scouts were unmoved, and to this day, have refused to allow homosexual scout leaders. To punish the Boy Scouts' intransigence, liberals throughout the country have tried to prohibit the Boy Scouts from using government facilities for their functions.

Enter the Sea Scouts. They have no rule prohibiting homosexuals as leaders, and they are not a part of the Boy Scouts. Not good enough for the Berkeley City Council. The City Council demanded that the Sea Scouts denounce the Boy Scouts. The Sea Scouts refused. The Council cut off the Sea Scouts free-berthing rights. Now, the Berkeley Yacht Club, devoted to subsidizing the rich, gets free berthing, but the Sea Scouts, devoted to helping the underprivileged youth of Berkeley, must pay $500 a month to berth its boat. The teacher who advises the group pays for the berth from his own pocket. So much for liberals helping the poor. Of course they'll help, if the poor do their political bidding. If they don't, there will be heck (or the government) to pay.

The Sea Scouts have sued, saying their freedom of association rights (as well as their free speech rights) under the first amendment have been violated. Thus far the courts in the liberal Bay Area have been unsympathetic. The Supreme Court granted them a hearing last month.

Where is the ACLU? Where are the leftist defenders of the First Amendment? What right is more important than the right to associate with whom you wish without fear from the government? What about the poor children of Berkeley? Why won't the leftists defend them? Because they won't attack the Boy Scouts. That is the leftist hypocrisy. They'll protect your rights as long as you agree with them. If you don't, they will use the entire power of government, and all of their political power to pound you into submission.

That, by the way, is true fascism, not eavesdropping on terrorists. Using the power of government to try and protect innocents from those who might hurt them is legitimate. Using the power of government to enforce political uniformity is wrong, and it is resistance to that attitude that resulted in our revolution.

Let's hope the Supreme Court does the right thing, and restores the Sea Scouts' freedom of association. That is specifically protected by the first amendment, as much as some anti-war protesters right to burn the flag. -CRO-

Mr. Haynes is a California Assembleyman representing Riverside and Temecula and frequent contributor to


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