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Pennsylvania

Philadelphia must pay Boy Scouts’ legal fees over eviction for anti-gay policy

Sunday, March 25, 2012

PHILADELPHIA — A federal judge last week ordered the city of Philadelphia to pay nearly $900,000 in legal fees to the local chapter of the Boy Scouts of America, following the city’s failed attempt to evict the Scouts from a city-owned building because of its anti-gay policy.

Judge Ronald Buckwalter also said the city of is not entitled to a new trial in the case. The city had challenged the instructions issued to the jury and said verdict was inconsistent, reported the Philadelphia Gay News.

The jury in the 2010 trial found that the city imposed an “unconstitutional condition” on the Cradle of Liberty Council by ordering it to depart from the national agency’s policy of barring openly gay members in order to comply with the city’s LGBT-inclusive nondiscrimination law and avoid eviction from its city-owned building.

However, it did find in the city’s favor on questions of viewpoint discrimination and equal-protection claims.

Since 2008, the city has been trying to evict the local scouts group, the Cradle of Liberty Council, from the city owned building it occupies because the council won’t accept gays and refuses to pay rent.

The city insisted at a June 2010 trial that non-profit organizations that are given free use of its property must abide by local anti-discrimination laws, which include equal protection for gays and lesbians.

But the jury found the city’s reason violated the local Scout council’s First Amendment rights.

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15 more reader comments:

  1. ridiculous.

    Posted on Sunday, March 25, 2012 at 6:11pm
  2. about time!!!!!

    Posted on Sunday, March 25, 2012 at 6:12pm
  3. That is nuts!

    Posted on Sunday, March 25, 2012 at 6:16pm
  4. hate should never be rewarded. Make it a stipulation as part of the settlement that they MUST include all boys and young men regardless of sexual oritentaion. I bet they turn down the awarded moneys.

    Posted on Sunday, March 25, 2012 at 6:18pm
  5. uhm..no, this is bullshit

    Posted on Sunday, March 25, 2012 at 6:20pm
  6. How can Greed, Hate & Oppression be
    protected under the law?

    Posted on Sunday, March 25, 2012 at 6:20pm
  7. That’s absolute bullshit! Any child deserves to be a scout if they wish. A bitchy white christian parent shouldn’t have the ability to reject someone over a sexual orientation. So they have the right to discriminate according to our amendments and violate a city law along with freeloading in a building but a gay child can’t join the scouts because its not up to scout policy? American Law everyone. Land of the free? or home of the bound?

    Posted on Sunday, March 25, 2012 at 6:31pm
  8. I wish the City would sell the sucker. They could probably get a couple of million. Pay the costs, and let the new landlord figure out the rest.

    Posted on Sunday, March 25, 2012 at 6:32pm
  9. If the city says they can use a building rent-free so long as they obey the city’s laws and they don’t how is that even a question? This scout group (the leaders of it, that is) broke a contract, verbal or otherwise. It’s well known the the US justice system is f-ed up, but seriously.

    Posted on Sunday, March 25, 2012 at 6:37pm
  10. Let me get this straight- The city said, you can be here as long as you follow this rule, but the scouts not only broke the rule, but also didn’t pay rent? And the city gets in trouble because the city’s rule violated the scouts’ rule? Since when did the boy scouts become bigger than government?

    Posted on Sunday, March 25, 2012 at 6:48pm
  11. Its religious crap at it again. The Boy Scouts came from pedo’s anyway. One Robert Baden-Powell I believe back in 1908.

    Posted on Sunday, March 25, 2012 at 7:11pm
  12. The boy scouts became bigger than government the moment they were bought out by the Mormon church. They’re sneaking their way into every single thing.

    Posted on Sunday, March 25, 2012 at 7:27pm
  13. Wait’ll Mitt Romney’s President.

    Posted on Sunday, March 25, 2012 at 7:33pm
  14. I’m sick and tired of the Boy Scouts being treated as a junior pre-military division and ubiquitous honour-guard at community events & parades, as they have been locally all my life. If they /are/ a private organization w/ the right to discriminate, then they should be getting no civic perks or free rent, no special “no-bid” event contracts, accommodations or invitations to promote themselves to the general public. A contract is a contract, and they breached it, not the city – do people no longer understand basic contract law? They don’t deserve to have their cake and eat it too, and taxpayers should not foot the bill for this. Let the B- S- of America (by which I denote the executive level) either suck it up and deal with civic ordinances or find themselves some /entirely/-private sponsors to support their hypocritical private scruples, rather than guilting communities at large to feel that they have to support Boy Scouts as a societal institution the exact same way that people are ubiquitously exhorted to “support our troops” (the military, though, actually /being/ a formal arm of the government and thus of this society, also has the responsibility involved of responding to changing times and to the actual demographic diversity of the nation. BSA neither admits nor assumes any such responsibility, even though it rides the military’s coattails at every (other) turn and takes credit for maintaining the cult and rubrics of U.S. patriotism. The two organizations, while so similar in overblown mystique, must finally and thoroughly be untangled and separated from that conflation which the BSA has exploited over past decades.

    And you know, when that bloody rule was written, “straight” meant in ethics, not in sexual orientation. But apparently the upper hierarchy has decided that the latter is a more-important standard and the former can be violated without apology. Great lesson for boys to learn from their elders, eh?

    Posted on Sunday, March 25, 2012 at 8:00pm
  15. You got the mormons in the Boy Scouts so you know they are be defiant on Equal rights but this judge has his head up his ass!

    Posted on Monday, March 26, 2012 at 10:28am