Boy Scouts sue San Diego over canceled park lease
February 07 2004 12:00 AM ET
The Boy Scouts of America sued the city of San Diego Thursday, seeking to stop the city from terminating the group's lease of 18 acres in a public park. The federal lawsuit names six members of the San Diego city council who voted to approve a $1 million settlement of a lawsuit brought by the American Civil Liberties Union over land in two public parks the city leases to the Boy Scouts for free or a nominal charge. As part of the settlement, the city agreed to void the lease in Balboa Park. The ACLU contends the Scouts should be evicted because the organization discriminates by barring gay men and the nonreligious.
"The city left the Boy Scouts no choice but to sue," said George A. Davidson, attorney for the Scouts. "The Boy Scouts cannot stand by while their constitutional rights are violated." San Diego city attorney Casey Gwinn and an attorney working with the ACLU said the lawsuit has no merit. "This looks like a public relations document. It does not look like a lawsuit. It's not even a close call," Gwinn said.