The Boy Scouts of America announcement this week that it would end its ban on openly gay adult leaders came 15 years after the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the ban on First Amendment grounds, and nearly 30 years after legal battles over the restriction began.

In 1990, James Dale, a college student, Eagle Scout and popular assistant leader of the troop he had joined at age 8, knocked on the door of Lambda Legal, where a young attorney—Evan Wolfson—was working.

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