When news broke earlier this week that the Boy Scouts of America was considering a reversal – or at least a half-baked semi-reversal – of its long-standing ban on openly gay members or adult leaders, I knew I had to talk to Tim Curran. Until recently the news director at SiriusXM Satellite Radio’s OutQ channel, Curran is a former Eagle Scout who has covered this issue as a broadcast journalist for years, along with many other LGBT-related topics.
But there was more to it than professional expertise. You see, I’ve known Tim for more than 30 years (I’ll drop the last-name thing now). We were both members of Troop 37 in Berkeley, Calif., spent innumerable hours together camping and hiking and playing cards on summer-camp afternoons, and received our Eagle Scout awards at the same ceremony. Not long after that, when Tim came out and took his boyfriend to the high-school prom, he was barred by the Scouts from becoming an adult leader – and then became the plaintiff in a landmark anti-discrimination lawsuit that went all the way to the California Supreme Court. I testified in an early stage of that lawsuit before a Los Angeles judge hilariously named Sally Disco – although I don’t think my resolute cluelessness about the “morally straight” clause of the Scout Oath was particularly helpful.