CNN Legal Analyst Compares Boy Scout 'Discrimination' to Interracial Marriage Ban

CNN legal analyst Sunny Hostin compared the push for the Boy Scouts to accept gays to the struggle over interracial marriage and same-sex marriage. She slammed any ban on gay scouts, local or national, as "discrimination," on Tuesday afternoon's Newsroom.

"They've been arguing that, Brooke, for years. If you let a black person marry a white person society will end. If you let gay and lesbian couples marry, society will end. That's an argument that has failed time and time again. And so to argue that we should discriminate because you want the Boy Scouts of America to survive is just a bunch of nonsense," Hostin told anchor Brooke Baldwin.

"I quite frankly don't think that the proposed ban goes far enough," Hostin lashed out at the proposed Boy Scouts policy of letting local Scout groups decide whether or not to allow gay scouts and leaders.

"We're giving, I think, local Scout groups license to discriminate. And that is wrong all the time," Hostin ranted. Earlier Tuesday morning, her colleague Carol Costello implied that the Scouts need to "change" with the times and allow gay scouts and leaders.  

Panel member Lauren Ashburn, former USA Today managing editor, had a different take. "They can form their own group," she said of those banned from the Boy Scouts. "[I]f you don't want to join the Boy Scouts because you are opposed to the Boy Scouts' moral values, then found your own group that has your own moral values where you can be with like-minded people."

A transcript of the segment, which aired on CNN Newsroom on February 5 at 2:46 p.m. EST, is as follows:

BROOKE BALDWIN: Sunny, let's begin with you. What's your reaction hearing both sides?

SUNNY HOSTIN: You know, I quite frankly don't think that the proposed ban goes far enough. What it's proposing is that the national ban is lifted, but that individual groups can choose, in my view, to still discriminate. And so it's almost much ado about nothing for me, Brooke. Because it just hasn't gone far enough. And to his point, who cares if the Roman Catholic church and the Mormon church and other sponsors withdraw? We're giving, I think, local Scout groups license to discriminate. And that is wrong all the time. Um, and –

BALDWIN: But wasn't it the Supreme Court in 2008 that sided with the Boy Scouts sort of over their morals, right? And these people are saying – these people are saying that this violates the group's core values.

(...)

BALDWIN: So Rick Santorum and Richard Land are sort of saying something similarly. I mean it was Richard Land who said these scouts will vote with their feet and they'll leave. Rick Santorum is basically saying if the ban is lifted, the Boy Scouts may not survive. He might have a point.

(Crosstalk)

HOSTIN: They've been arguing that, Brooke, for years. If you let a black person marry a white person society will end. If you let gay and lesbian couples marry, society will end. That's an argument that has failed time and time again. And so to argue that we should discriminate because you want the Boy Scouts of America to survive is just a bunch of nonsense. And, again, I think you can't ever give anyone the license to discriminate, and that's what this proposed ban does.

(Crosstalk)

LAUREN ASHBURN, former managing editor, USA Today: They can form their own group. If they don't like the Boy Scouts, it's just like watching a TV show. If you don't like Brooke's TV show, you change the channel.

(Crosstalk)

ASHBURN: Which nobody does. But if – if you don't want to join the Boy Scouts because you are opposed to the Boy Scouts' moral values, then found your own group that has your own moral values where you can be with like-minded people.

Matt Hadro
Matt Hadro
Matt Hadro was a News Analyst for the Media Research Center's News Analysis Division from 2010 through early 2014