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Popular Topics in Literature
García Lorca, Federico García Lorca, Federico
The works of García Lorca, internationally recognized as Spain's most prominent lyric poet and dramatist of the twentieth century, are filled with thinly veiled homosexual motifs and themes.
Musical Theater
There has always been homosexual involvement in American musical theatre and a homosexual sensibility even in straight musicals, and recently the Broadway musical has welcomed openly homosexual themes and situations.
Michelangelo Buonarroti Michelangelo Buonarroti
Best known for his genius in art and architecture, Michelangelo was also an accomplished author of homoerotic poetry.
African-American Literature: Gay Male African-American Literature: Gay Male
The African-American gay male literary tradition consists of a substantial body of texts and includes some of the most gifted writers of the twentieth century.
Camp Camp
Combining elements of incongruity, theatricality, and exaggeration, camp is a form of humor that helps homosexuals cope with a hostile environment.
Hughes, Langston Hughes, Langston
Langston Hughes, whose literary legacy is enormous and varied, was closeted, but homosexuality was an important influence on his literary imagination, and many of his poems may be read as gay texts.
Baldwin, James Arthur Baldwin, James Arthur
James Baldwin, a pioneering figure in twentieth-century literature, wrote sustained and articulate challenges to American racism and mandatory heterosexuality.
Wilde, Oscar Wilde, Oscar
Oscar Wilde is important both as an accomplished writer and as a symbolic figure who exemplified a way of being homosexual at a pivotal moment in the emergence of gay consciousness.
Topics In the News
Boy Scouts of America to Vote on Ban
Posted by: Claude J. Summers on 05/22/13
Last updated on: 05/22/13
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Activist James Dale in a GLAAD video.

As the Boy Scouts of America National Council gathers in Dallas to reconsider its ban on gay scouts and leaders on May 24, 2013, the real question is not whether they will (as expected) repeal the ban on scouts but retain it for adult scout leaders and employees. The real question is whether whatever they do is too little, too late. The leaders of the Boy Scouts of America have managed to besmirch their own brand, which at one time was as honored and as American as apple pie. The BSA has marginalized itself so as to become little more than a religious organization, largely Southern and rural, more famous for bigotry than for building character.

In the face of plummeting membership, the BSA is desperate to refurbish its tarnished image. It has recently lost a number of major donors; many municipalities, government groups, and charitable organizations have pointedly disassociated themselves from the organization; and even entertainers have refused to perform at its jamborees, fearing that any affiliation with the BSA might hurt their careers.

But it is far from clear whether it is now possible for the Boy Scouts to recover the luster it once had. Precisely because so many people now hold the organization in disdain and have abandoned it, the Boy Scouts is in ever more thrall to the conservative religious groups that sponsor most of its troops, and it is unlikely that it can reach out beyond that increasingly narrow base.

The so-called "compromise" that would allow openly gay scouts but not adults is not a compromise at all. It continues to brand gay people as potential predators. It will please neither the critics of the current discriminatory policy nor those who support it.

The situation of the Boy Scouts is rife with irony. They fought all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court to preserve their right to discriminate against gay people. They won at the Court, but their victory was pyrrhic. It has forever associated the organization with blatant bigotry.

The case that reached the Supreme Court was brought by Lambda Legal on behalf of Eagle Scout and former assistant scoutmaster James Dale in 1990. He had been active in a New Jersey troop during the 1980s, but the Monmouth Council of the BSA forced him out when they read about his membership in a gay student group at Rutgers University in a newspaper article.

Ruling against Dale, New Jersey superior court judge Patrick McGann accused him of "moral depravity" and used material from the Bible to support his decision in favor of the Boy Scouts. Dale and his lawyers, led by Evan Wolfson, appealed the case, and the state appellate court ruled that the Boy Scouts was a "public accommodation" and had to obey the state's anti-discrimination law.

The Boy Scouts appealed the case to the United States Supreme Court. In June 2000, a bitterly divided Court ruled 5-4 that the New Jersey law banning discrimination against homosexuals did not apply to the Boy Scouts. Citing the organization's First Amendment right of freedom of association, the U.S. Supreme Court supported the organization's policy of banning gay members and leaders.

In a new video produced by GLAAD, which has been leading the campaign against BSA's discriminatory policies, Dale speaks about his case and how even in losing he won.

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