Saturday, October 20, 2007

Philadelphia Slaps the Boy Scouts--Hard

The City of Brotherly Love--now there's a half-dozen tasteless puns waiting...

Prompted by opposition to the Boy Scouts' rule disqualifying homosexuals as troop leaders, Philadelphia has forced the city's local chapter to pay fair-market rent of $200,000 a year for its city-owned headquarters.

As WND reported in June, Philadelphia's city council voted to renege on a 1928 ordinance allowing the Cradle of Liberty Council to have its headquarters in a building on a parcel of public land "in perpetuity" for $1 a year.

The city argues it can't rent public property for a nominal sum to any group that discriminates.
City officials in San Francisco and Boston have made similar decisions displacing the Scouts because of the group's behavior code.

Fairmount Park Commission president Robert N.C. Nix announced this week the Cradle of Liberty Council must pay the $200,000 rent if it wants to remain in the building after May 31.

Agenda? WHAT "agenda"?


Phil Thibedeaux said...

Isn't it a little ridiculous that the city was renting _any_ public property valued in the hundreds of thousands to a private organization for $1/year?

Dad29 said...

Yah, so?

Gummints do all sorts of ridiculous things, all the time.

Doesn't seem to have bothered the other citizens of Philly, does it?

Phil Thibedeaux said...

So, the guiding principle here is, governments _should_ do ridiculous things?

I'm pretty certain a quick search would turn up at least a few Philly citizens who _were_ bothered by the waste of city funds, and not just by the perceived discrimination.

When you add to that the citizens who weren't being served by this nonprofit organization because of its stated policies, it amounts to a waste of government money.

Dad29 said...

"Stated Policies" is the reason YOU don't like the deal, Phil,...

...and what, 5% of the rest of the population?

Can't get your way by referendum, so you're just going to ruin the lives of the Boy Scouts through the courts and/or Lefty City Councils.

Geez, Phil. You should be proud!

Phil Thibedeaux said...

Hey Dad,

You're extrapolating a bit there, mostly inaccurately.

I'd object if the city were giving a sweet $200,000 subsidy to a gay organization that excluded heterosexual people from membership and employment, and I'd object if the city were giving free rent to a Christian organization that excluded Jewish kids from membership or Jewish adults from employment (even in a city where Jews were only 5% of the population.)

The BSA has fought vehemently to be viewed, legally, as a private religious organization. That's not my characterization; it's something the BSA has spent a lot of money and resources to fight for.

It seems quite reasonable for public institutions like city governments to treat the BSA like any other private religious organization.

Dad29 said...

Seems even MORE reasonable that Philly live up to its contract.

But hey--

The safety of the Scouts is far more important than $200K, and the Scouting program will survive this and flourish.

See? Happy ending for all.

Phil Thibedeaux said...

"The safety of the Scouts?" I'm not sure I follow.

But you're right. The Scouts are an old institution, and the national attention that this is getting will probably inspire a donor to help them find a meeting place.

I wonder why the city chose not to simply _give_ the building to the Scouts in 1928.