Boy Scouts California Oath meaning
In 1977, 22-year-old Chuck Merino joined the El Cajon Police Department as a police officer. Because of his interest in youth and excellent service record, he was asked to serve as the Explorer Advisor for the department's Law Enforcement Explorer Post in 1988. On August 25, 1992, Chuck was expelled from the Boy Scouts of America.
Several months earlier, Chuck had revealed that he was gay at a community meeting on hate crimes against gays. The BSA council heard about this and sent Chuck a letter stating that he was unfit to be a Scout leader because his homosexuality violated BSA's requirements that its members be "morally straight" and clean. According to Ron Brundage, Scout Executive of the San Diego County Council of the Boy Scouts, "It means clean in thought, word and deed."
This came as news to Chuck. He had been a respected El Cajon police officer for 15 years, a popular volunteer football coach at Grossmont High School and, until recently, was much-admired as a Scout leader. This also was a surprise to Police Chief Jack Smith, who praised Merino as a model officer. In response to BSA's actions against Chuck, the San Diego and El Cajon police departments later severed their ties with BSA.
Chuck sued the BSA in 1992 under the California Civil Rights Act and San Diego's Human Dignity Ordinance, both of which ban discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. Before the trial, Chuck's lawyer, Everett Bobbitt, threatened to ask San Diego officials to kick the BSA off their city-owned land at Balboa Park and Fiesta Island, which the Scouts lease for a total of $2 a year, if the court did not sustain Chuck's position. In light of Chuck's suit, the San Diego School Board voted in January 1993, to forbid Scouting activities during class hours in schools, effective July 1, 1993.
J. Mark Crouse, an accountant at the San Diego Convention Center, testified that he recognized Leach from a photograph in The San Diego Union-Tribune that appeared with an article about his testimony in the case. He said he first met Leach at an adult bookstore in the fall of 1990 and saw him on and off for a month. Crouse said he saw Leach again in the spring of 1991 at a bathhouse patronized by gay men. "Sometimes we would have sex together, sometimes we would not. Sometimes we would just talk, " Crouse testified.