The Boy Scouts of America (Scouts) (defendant) is a private, not-for-profit organization engaged in instilling its system of values in young people. The Scouts assert that homosexual conduct is inconsistent with the values it seeks to instill. James Dale (plaintiff) is a former Eagle Scout whose adult membership with the Scouts was revoked and status as assistant scoutmaster was terminated when the Scouts learned that he is a homosexual man and gay rights activist. Dale brought suit against the Boy Scouts in New Jersey Superior Court alleging that the Scouts had violated New Jersey’s public accommodations statute and its common law by revoking Dale’s membership solely because of his homosexuality. The state court agreed, and the New Jersey Supreme Court affirmed. The United States Supreme Court granted certiorari.