Excerpts from “Philly City Council Ends 79-Year Boy Scout Lease Over Refusal to Accept Homosexual Leaders”
By Gudrun Schultz , LifeSiteNews.com – June 1, 2007
Philadelphia City Council voted July 31st to end a nearly 80-year-old lease held by the Boy Scouts local branch over the group’s adherence to a national policy banning actively homosexual leaders.
The ongoing dispute pitted the Scouts’ Cradle of Liberty Council against homosexual activists over the organization’s refusal to adopt an official policy welcoming homosexuals into leadership. The City, under pressure by activist groups, wants the Scouts to either alter the organization’s policy or start paying market rent for the use of the historical Beaux Arts building, where the Scout headquarters has been housed since 1928 for a nominal rent.
The resolution permitting the city to end the lease was introduced unexpectedly, according to coverage by the Philadelphia Inquirer, and passed 16-1 with no debate. City councilors stated their hope that the resolution would generate leverage for the city and open the door to talks resolving the dispute.
Scouts take an oath of duty to God as part of their membership, and actively homosexual individuals are not permitted as leaders. Although the Supreme Court ruled in 2000 that as a private organization, scouts could restrict homosexuals from leadership, scout groups have faced opposition from local officials revoking privileges where they have refused to alter policy in response to demands from homosexual activists.
The American Family Association of Pennsylvania (AFA of PA), in a press release earlier today, said the city was caving to the pressure of homosexual activists.
“Efforts to appease never work. Homosexual activists want a pro-gay policy expressly stating that the Cradle of Liberty Scout Council will accept open homosexuals. They are not concerned with the well-being of the children of Philadelphia and surrounding counties, but instead choose to use them in an effort to make an example out of the Boy Scouts,” said Diane Gramley, president of AFA of PA.
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