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Philly Scouts Refuse To Go Quietly

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Philly Scouts Refuse To Go Quietly

by 365Gay.com Newscenter Staff

July 25, 2006 - 3:00 pm ET

(Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) The Boy Scouts of America say they have no intention of changing their policy barring gays or of leaving a city owned building despite an order to abide by Philadelphia's human rights ordinance or move.

A spokesperson for the Scouts tells the Philadelphia Inquirer that the organization is prepared to go to court.

"The scouts intend to stand up for their constitutional rights," Robert Bork Jr. told the Inquirer from the BSA's national headquarters in Texas.

"The policy [against gays] is not going anywhere," Bork added.

Late week, Philadelphia Mayor John F. Street told the local Boy Scout Council to denounce the national anti-gay policy, pay fair-market-value rent, or move out of the building it occupies. (story)

That demand was followed up by a vote by park commission, which owns the property, to endorse Street's position.

Philadelphia's council has a statement on its Web site saying: "As the most diverse youth serving organization in our service area, we are committed to this mission and we oppose any form of unlawful discrimination."

Street says that isn't good enough because it does not specifically mention gays and could be open to interpretation as a result of the 2000 US Supreme Court ruling that said as a private organization the BSA could refuse membership to any group.

In March the California Supreme Court ruled that the City of Berkeley did not violate the group's civil rights when it demanded marina fees because the group violates that city's anti-discrimination policy.

Earlier this month the BSA said it would appeal the California ruling to the US Supreme Court. (story)

©365Gay.com 2006


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