Barely a month after a bitter court fight, Philadelphia and the Cradle of Liberty Council Boy Scouts are negotiating to settle the nearly decade-long dispute over the scouts’ refusal to explicitly renounce the national organization’s antigay policy. A federal jury decided in June that the city had violated the Boy Scouts’ First Amendment rights by using the antigay policy as a reason to evict them from their offices near Logan Square.
The Depression-era building, while built by the scouts, is on city land and effectively owned by Philadelphia. Despite the court victory, the city can still evict the scouts, provided it is done without violating the organization’s constitutional rights. “There have been talks,” said Jason P. Gosselin, a partner with Drinker Biddle & Reath L.L.P., who represents the scouts. “We are on a good path.” LINK
City Solicitor Shelley R. Smith declined to comment on the discussions. After the verdict, U.S. District Judge Ronald L. Buckwalter advised both sides to negotiate a final end to the dispute. Meanwhile, in a not unexpected move, the city has asked Buckwalter to overturn the verdict on the ground that it is at odds with a recent U.S. Supreme Court decision. And Drinker Biddle wants the city to pay it $963,570 in legal fees, the cost of representing the scouts. Although the firm took the case without a fee, federal law allows the winning side in a civil-rights case to dun the losers for costs.
I have been watching this story for a while now. I find it disgusting at a minimum. The Boy Scouts of America are one of the few programs designed to foster and mentor young boys on their way to manhood that has stood the test of time. For 100 years generations of young boys and young men have grown up with the Boy Scouts. Some boys loved it and attained their highest award-Eagle Scout. They reaped a lifetime of rewards that award brought them. Others like myself stayed a couple of years then parted ways.
Still the history of scouting is proud and one America should celebrate. Providing positive male role models for young men and boys growing up on mean streets and in tough times is something many, many of our communities could use a lot more of. Especially since in some communities the way you prove your manhood is by using a gun or selling drugs or committing other crimes.
The Scouts rent an old building down town thats on city land and the city wants them evicted. That being said the City of Philadelphia, as left-wing and corrupt as any liberal Democrat big city on the planet has been at war with the Boy Scouts for years because the Boy Scouts – wait for it- do not allow openly gay men to be part of their organization. GASP!
If only the Catholic Church…ah never mind.
Anyway the city abused the Scouts civil rights by using this policy as an excuse to evict them. Of course the City of Philadelphia constantly violates people’s Constitutional rights. So it’s no surprise they did it to the Scouts. But the Scouts have the law on their side and fought the case. This is America and people have the right to freely associate with whomever they want to. The Scouts are a private organization and are free to set their own rules for admission. Having openly gay men ia an organization of this type is inconsistent with their core values and mission. So they don’t allow it. Period. Just like our military.
Except Philadelphia city government thinks it has the right to dictate to private citizens who they will associate with regardless of their affiliation. It’s typical liberal bully tactics- using the limitless finances of government to intimidate people into doing what they want. I’m curious- does Philadelphia plan to make Islamic Mosques admit gays and Jews after this? I’m just saying…
For the record- the million dollars the city wasted on this groundless, asinine lawsuit is about what it costs to keep a fully staffed fire engine on the street 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for a year. That engine company would answer upwards of two thousand calls and save hundreds of thousands of dollars in property and who knows how many lives.