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Philadelphia and Boy Scouts Propose Settlement

Philadelphia and Boy Scouts Propose Settlement


Philadelphia and the Cradle of Liberty Council Boy Scouts have reached a tentative settlement in which the city would stop trying to evict the Scouts and sell the organization a city-owned building at a discounted price in order to end a longtime dispute.

The proposed settlement comes in response to a U.S. district court jury verdict over the summer that found the city had violated the Scouts' First Amendment rights by attempting to evict the organization over its discrimination against gay members. Philadelphia had argued that the Boy Scouts group, headquartered in the building near Logan Square, was in conflict with a city nondiscrimination policy.

According to The Philadelphia Inquirer, "The city-owned building, which the scouts have occupied for 80 years, would be sold for $500,000. Both sides agree its appraised value is at least $1 million. In return, the scouts would not seek $1 million in compensation from Philadelphia that they are entitled to under federal law."

However, city councilman Darrell Clarke, who represents the district where the building stands and would need to introduce the bill to approve the sale, appeared to balk at the deal Wednesday evening, saying the settlement did not take input from the community.

The dispute over the building never concerned the right of the Boy Scouts to discriminate, which the U.S. Supreme Court upheld in 2000.

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