Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Philly's War on the Boy Scouts

February 16, 2008

As Michael Nutter was sworn in as the city's 98th mayor last month, he called for a new wave of public service to clean up drug-infested neighborhoods. If he is serious about renewing volunteerism, he'll start by putting an end to the city's campaign against the Boy Scouts.

On May 31, the Cradle of Liberty Council, the local Boy Scout chapter, will be evicted from its headquarters on 22nd and Winter Streets -- a space it has occupied since 1928.

The eviction isn't for a breach of contract. It comes at the behest of the City Council, which voted 16 to one last year to kick the boy scouts out unless they reverse the national Boy Scouts of America's ban on gays serving in the ranks or as scoutmasters or start paying "market rent" -- about $200,000 a year. Local chapters can't reverse national scouting policies. So it's a matter of paying up or moving out.
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