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Deal for Boy Scouts to Buy Philadelphia Building Fails

Deal for Boy Scouts to Buy Philadelphia Building Fails

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A controversial deal that would have allowed Philadelphia to sell the Boy Scouts' headquarters building to the antigay group in order to settle a long-running legal dispute fell through last week, leaving the city with $1 million in legal fees.

The Philadelphia Inquirer
reports on a federal court filing Friday from the Boy Scouts' attorney, which concluded that the City Council would never approve a settlement agreement opposed by gay advocates that called for the city-owned building to be sold to the Scouts' Philadelphia group, the Cradle of Liberty Council. The city agreed to sell the building to the Scouts as payment for legal fees after it lost a federal lawsuit that tried to evict the Boy Scouts from the Logan Square building because of the group's national policy of excluding gay participants.

According to the Inquirer, "The city had agreed to sell the 13,000-square-foot building to the Scouts for about $500,000 as payment for the legal fees, about half the property's appraised value. Advocates for the gay community called it a sweetheart deal. The city has defended the decision as a reasonable compromise to avoid paying the higher amount of the legal bills."

Although the exact amount of the legal fees remains in dispute, the attorney for the Boy Scouts said he is owed about $1.04 million. The city had no immediate comment on whether it would exercise the option to appeal the case, the preferred course of action for gay advocates, the Inquirer reported.

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