Philadelphia has laws (PDF) against discrimination. You can’t get public funding if you want to exclude gays/atheists from your meetings.
Which puts the Boy Scouts of America in a quandary.
The Cradle of Liberty Council hosts about 64,000 scouts from surrounding areas.
They “rent” a city-owned building on Logan Square for $1 a year.
Fair-market price for renting the building: $200,000 a year.
City officials have said they could not legally rent taxpayer-owned property for a dollar a year to a private organization that discriminates.
It’s the right stance to take, and if the BSA wants to rent the building, they’ll soon have to pay the additional $199,999.
Barring a resolution, the Cradle of Liberty Council – about 64,000 scouts in Philadelphia and parts of Delaware and Montgomery Counties – must vacate the property at 22d and Winter Streets after May 31.
“It’s disappointing, and it’s certainly a threat,” said Jeff Jubelirer, a spokesman for Cradle of Liberty Council, referring to the rent’s impact on the scouts’ chances of staying on the site.
Jubelirer said that $200,000 a year in rent “would have to come from programs. That’s 30 new Cub Scout packs, or 800 needy kids going to our summer camp.”
Or you could open your membership to everyone and get your cheap rent back.
But that would require compassion, kindness, and the sense to break a dumb tradition which never should have started in the first place. The heads of the Scouts seem incapable of making that decision.
(via Pam’s House Blend)
[tags]atheist, atheism, gay, homosexual, lawsuit[/tags]