[Guest post by DRJ]
In 2008, the City of Philadelphia was sued by a local Boy Scout organization over City threats to end a $1-a-year lease of city property improved substantially by the Boy Scouts. The basis for terminating the lease is the Boy Scout’s policy refusing membership to gays.
The attorney for the local Boy Scout group argued the City is using its leverage over the property to force the local group to renounce the Boy Scouts’ national policy toward gays. Instead of making it an argument about homosexuality, however, the local group is apparently trying to walk a fine line between abiding by the national policy and serving local Boy Scouts. Thus, the local group’s first witness will be a former director who struggled with conflicting demands. On the other hand, the City’s first witness is an Eagle Scout who was forced out after announcing he was gay.
One interesting aspect of the case is that the local Boy Scout group sued first, in anticipation of having its lease terminated by the City. Thus, the local group will present its case and the City will respond as defendant.