REFLECTIONS

Posted on June 19, 2010

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PHILADELPHIA VS. BOY SCOUTS

Over the years Boy Scouts of America has been attacked about its policy in regard to homosexuals. Today a U.S. District Court trial is underway in the case of Philadelphia vs. Boy Scouts of America.

There is a legitimate issue here: the national Boy Scout policy prohibits the hiring of homosexuals.

Hopefully the outcome of this case will come out favorably for the Boy Scouts. The courts have decided that the Boy Scouts are a private organization, and as such, have the right to decide who can become a member or a leader.

Philadelphia officials say the Boy Scouts of America policy is a violation of the city’s anti discrimination rules. The Boy Scouts Cradle of Liberty Council headquarters is located on city land, and it has been rent free for over 80 years.

Several years ago the city told the Scouts to move or start paying $200,000 a year rent. But the Scouts cannot afford the rent, and they would lose their charter and funding if they reject national Boy Scout rules in order to comply with Philadelphia’s anti discrimination rules.

In the Scout’s favor, they have provided needed mentoring and educational resources for over 25,000 youth yearly, and there is no evidence of widespread discrimination on the organization’s part.

In the lawsuit, the city states “it does not want to subsidize a group it believes practices discrimination,” but it is willing to take money from such a group.

Maybe the city should lease the property with the option to buy, all at a reasonable rate. Maybe the rate could be based on 1940 prices? That would be fair for everyone.

It would hurt thousands of boys if the Scouts are forced to move from Philadelphia. A court decision against the Boy Scouts could result in similar lawsuits across the United States. What a shame!

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