Ellis will explore the intersection between discrimination and freedom of association

Willamette University professor and author Richard Ellis was awarded a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities to support a new book project.

The $6,000 summer stipend will fund Ellis' investigation into the 2000 Supreme Court case, Boy Scouts of America and Monmouth Council v. James Dale, which starkly pitted the freedom of association against discrimination based on sexual orientation.

The book will examine the legal arguments and judicial decision-making processes in the case, and it will tell the story of Dale's personal journey and its intersection with the evolving gay rights movement. Ellis will also consider the rationale behind the Boy Scouts' policy that ultimately jeopardized the organization's iconic place in American culture.

The National Endowment for the Humanities has designated the book a "We the People" project because it deepens our understanding of American culture and advances knowledge of the principles that define America.