Patterico's Pontifications


Philadelphia Squares Off Against Boy Scouts

Filed under: Civil Liberties,Constitutional Law — DRJ @ 4:03 pm

[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.


14 Responses to “Philadelphia Squares Off Against Boy Scouts”

  1. Cranky people have too much time on their hands.

    The Supreme Court supported the Scouts’ right to freedom of association.

    There is no place on an application to join the scouts as a boy or as an adult leader which asks an individual to specify their sexual orientation.

    Just another example of our society’s move to enforce tolerance through the legal system rather than actual acceptance.

    daleyrocks (1d0d98)

  2. philly would defend
    right of town drunk blow sheep in
    Nativity scene

    ColonelHaiku (79bc23)

  3. > the Cradle of Liberty Council forced out 18-year-old Eagle Scout Greg Lattera after he went on TV — in his scout uniform — to declare that he was gay.

    At 18, he is no longer a youth member. If he was registered with the Boy Scouts at that time, he was an adult leader.

    To my non-official knowledge, the Boy Scouts do not have any rules regarding the professed sexual orientation of its youth members. It is only the adult leadership that is subject to the policy.

    Of course, the media somehow always fails to note that distinction.

    MikeInOhio (eba0a5)

  4. eagle scout hard work
    but suck chrome off trailer hitch
    hardest badge of all

    ColonelHaiku (79bc23)

  5. Daleyrocks–this isn’t about the Scouts freedom to associate as/how they wish.

    This is about whether the City of Brotherly Love (interesting name in this context) must subsidize the Scouts if the city thinks that freedom of association results in discrimination.

    To me, the best solution would be for the Scouts to find new premises and sue the city for the value of the improvements (unless statutes of limitation, laches, etc. interfere), or offer to buy it from the city for the fair market value.

    kishnevi (e32503)

  6. This has been brewing for a couple of years now. I wrote to the Archdiocese of Philadelphia a couple of years ago, and suggested that, with several church facilities closed, including both parochial schools and churches, the Archdiocese could easily provide space for the Scouts.

    There really is a simple solution to this problem, but I never heard back from the Archdiocese, nor ever saw a news story about a potential offer of space.

    The Dana in Pennsylvania (474dfc)

  7. This is going on all over the country with politicians currying favor with the gay rights movement. What is not mentioned is that the Scouts provide one of the few opportunities for kids to see the outdoors and learns skills that are no longer taught in school. If the Scouts are forced to acquiesce, parents will pull their kids out and the organization will collapse. The left wingers who are pushing this don’t send their kids to Scouts anyway.

    Mike K (82f374)

  8. “This is about whether the City of Brotherly Love (interesting name in this context) must subsidize the Scouts if the city thinks that freedom of association results in discrimination.”

    kishnevi – Thanks. I understand exactly what this is about and have been observing this kind of crap for 13 years as a scout leader in my neck of the woods, usually from people who have absolutely no skin in the game. How many organizations or groups do you think I would find that Philadelphia subsidized or spent money on that discriminated if I took a detailed spin through their budget? It would be dozens. This is a pure publicity grabbing stunt by Boy Scout haters. Prove me wrong.

    daleyrocks (1d0d98)

  9. daley is teh ghey. Don’t tell the boy scouts. 😉

    JD (4b684a)

  10. JD – Nobody asked.

    daleyrocks (1d0d98)

  11. This is emblematic of what happens when adults forget that the purpose of a group that is dedicated to the betterment of boys and instead make the primary focus the want and needs of the leaders.

    People like this should be condemned to a round robin discussion of the musical merits of a cow bell in hell.

    Thresherman (0f21cb)

  12. ColonelHaiku, that is so wrong!

    Keep it up. 😉

    Icy Texan (8b63a0)

  13. This is about whether the City of Brotherly Love (interesting name in this context) must subsidize the Scouts if the city thinks that freedom of association results in discrimination.

    Of course not, but do the Scouts have to subsidize the City of Brotherly Love in order to utilize their freedom of association? While the city holds the title to the land on which the building sits, the scouts raised the money to build it at the city’s request and the city agreed to the lease by the Scouts for perpetuity (it does make me feel better about the possibility of damned for all perpetuity, that will be less than 100 years) and the Scouts maintained and have renovated the building and property ever since then. So if the Scouts are forced to leave the city gets the building and 72 years of maintenance on their land as a subsidy from the Scouts.

    nax (2f2a28)

  14. The city probably also ignores the thousands of hours of service projects the scouts organize helping the city out over the course of a year that more than offset what they consider the “subsidized” rent. Uninformed, agenda driven louts.

    daleyrocks (1d0d98)

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