Mueller says the local council follows national guidelines but notes that the gay-rights issue has not surfaced locally, except to the extent that local volunteer scout leaders have privately expressed support for the policy. "This is not an issue in this council at this time," he says.

But even if gays are not suing or marching or otherwise complaining locally, the public here should not give sponsorship and sanction to any group that openly acts against individuals on the basis of their sexual orientation. Gays and lesbians are as much a part of the public as heteros are.

Besides, the Scouts' bigotry may not be limited to gays. During last week's arguments, Justices Sandra Day O'Connor and Stephen Breyer asked what would happen to a heterosexual Scout leader who espoused gay rights.

"I don't know how that would be resolved," replied George Davidson, attorney for the Scouts.

That spoke volumes to me, as a heterosexual who believes strongly in gay rights, because I realized that, despite my 26 merit badges (including some for citizenship) and my status as an Eagle Scout, it was indeed possible that I, too, might be deemed unfit to be a Scout leader. Worse things have been said about me, but it does beg a serious question: Just whose morality is this, anyway?

And whatever happened to Scouts' honor?

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