In a perfect world, perhaps, the Boys Scouts of America would permit gay scouts and leaders into the organization. But in Philadelphia, it’s anything but a perfect world. Recently, the City of Philadelphia has been ordered by a federal court to pay legal fees to the local Boy Scouts chapter after an already lengthy legal and property dispute, according to CBS News. The cost? Almost $900,000.
Two years ago, a federal court found that the city had violated the Boy Scouts’ first amendment rights by threatening to evict the chapter from city property for discriminating against gay people.
So now, the city must either pay up or appeal the case in the Third Circuit Court. To make matters more complicated, at one point the city was willing to sell the property near Logan Circle to the scouts for a deeply discounted rate in order to offset mounting legal costs. But after the ACLU, LGBT and city leaders complained that the decision would essentially reward the scouts for its anti-gay discrimination policies, it was tabled.
So what should the city do know? Appeal or pay up?