The multi-year fight over the Boy Scouts’ Philadelphia headquarters has taken another turn in federal court.
The city of Philadelphia is asking the Third Circuit Court of Appeals to overturn the verdict in favor of the Boy Scouts, allowing them to stay in a city owned building.
Philadelphia sought to evict the scouts since they don’t allow openly gay members and the city has a non-discrimination policy.
In its legal filing, the city claims the past verdict in the case contradicts itself — at one point saying the local scouts should not have to renounce a national scout policy to keep the building rent free. But at another point, the verdict claims the city’s overall eviction attempt was reasonable.
Tom Harrington of the Cradle of Liberty Council, says the scouts continue to provide services despite the ongoing dispute.
“Our inner-city Cub Scout and Boy Scout programs has grown by 50 percent in the last two years,” said Harrington. “We just had over a thousand boys join Cub Scouting in the last two months alone in Philadelphia.”
Harrington says he wants to hammer out a compromise with the city.
“I think the message is kids need help today and it would be great for us adults to figure out how to get over these differences and get back to helping the young people of our city.”
The city of Philadelphia has a policy of not commenting on cases in progress.
The scouts have until December 24th to file a response to the city’s brief and then the court has the option of hearing arguments on the case.