Legislation has been introduced in Philadelphia City Council to sell to the Boy Scouts the building the group have been using for years as headquarters.
Philadelphia tried to force the Scouts, as a condition for leasing the building, to abandon its ban on gay or atheist members. But the city lost in court and was ordered to pay legal fees for the Scouts. The Scouts went all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court fighting for the right to exclude gays and atheists because, the group says, believing in God and being straight are necessary to live up to the Scout Oath.
Instead of paying in cash, the bill by Councilman Darrell Clarke would apply the charges against the sale price of the building. Clarke says the bill is a work in progress.
“Based on conversations with various parties I’ve put in writing the issues which we seem to get consensus on,” said Clarke.
A group called Philadelphia Against Subsidized Discrimination is against the sale. “We’re asking the mayor as well as the city not to subsidize the Boy Scouts by giving them a property at less than fair market value,” said group spokesman Duane Perry.
Mayor Michael Nutter says the deal is a good one for the city and does not give the scouts a break.