San Diego ends Boy Scout lease over discrimination
January 09 2004 12:00 AM ET
The San Diego city council agreed Thursday to settle a case brought by the American Civil Liberties Union in 2000 challenging the city's subsidy of the Boy Scouts through a preferential lease at a public park. In July 2003 federal district court judge Napoleon Jones ruled that the park lease to the Scouts violated First Amendment guarantees of separation of church and state. The city has agreed to request that Jones enter a final judgment based on that ruling and then to give notice to the Scouts that the lease has terminated. The city has also agreed to end its support of the Scouts and to not oppose the ACLU as it pursues resolution of the remaining issues in the lawsuit. "San Diego has finally taken itself out of the business of endorsing the exclusion of many of its residents from their own city parks," said ACLU legal director Jordan Budd. "While it is unfortunate that it has taken an adverse court ruling to get the city on the right of this issue, the end result is a victory for every San Diegan who cares about tolerance and equality."
San Diego has given the Boy Scouts nearly 70 years of exclusive use of 18 acres of prime land in city-owned Balboa Park for $1 a year. The Balboa Park lease contains a provision that terminates the lease if any court issues a final judgment finding the lease illegal. "The Boy Scouts cannot have it both ways," ACLU volunteer attorney M.E. Stephens said. "Having gone to great lengths to establish that discrimination against gays and nonbelievers is essential to their mission and therefore protected by the First Amendment, they cannot now turn around and ask the people of San Diego to foot the bill for that discrimination."
- Colo. Bakery's Refusal to Bake Gay Wedding Cake Is Discrimination, Judge Rules
- WATCH: Elton John Slams 'Inhumane, Isolating' Anti-LGBT Laws In Russia
- WATCH: Ben Affleck and SNL Crew Go to Ex-Gay Camp
- In the Galleries: Transformer
- WATCH: What Do These Gay Hockey Players Want for Christmas?
- Op-ed: Why I Filmed My Coming Out Journey
- Entertainment News Macklemore & Ryan Lewis Score 7 Grammy Nominations 1 hour 39 min ago
- Marriage Equality Washington's Weddings Were 17 Percent Gay Last Year 8:00 AM
- Marriage Equality Colo. Bakery's Refusal to Bake Gay Wedding Cake Is Discrimination 7:00 AM
- Art In the Galleries: Transformer 4:00 AM
- Politics WATCH: Elton John Slams Russia's Anti-LGBT Laws Onstage December 06 2013 8:40 PM
- Women American Horror Story: Coven -- Ritual Witch-ual December 06 2013 8:30 PM
- Travel Wanna Win a Wedding in West Hollywood? December 06 2013 7:26 PM