Despite outrage from Philadelphia’s gay activists, the city is moving ahead with the sale of the Boy Scouts’ building to the homophobic group — which the city will unload at a loss, all so the matter will go away.
After losing a court battle to evict the Boy Scouts form their $1-a-year lease because the group violates the city’s anti-discrimination measures, the City Council is moving ahead with the $500K sale of the 13,000-square-foot Logan Square building to the Cradle of Liberty Council, which operates the local BSA chapter.
But wait while it tries to please some furious locals!
Councilman Darrell Clarke introduced an ordinance that would transfer ownership of the building to the Cradle of Liberty Council. But written into the legislation were two conditions – that the Scouts could not sell the building for 10 years and that they must provide space for community programs, including diversity training. “We would like to see the building be made available to others,” said Clarke, whose district includes the building at 22nd and Winter streets. By Council tradition, Clarke gets to introduce property deals in his district. Clarke had delayed introduction for several weeks amid complaints about the agreement. He stressed that there was still no final consensus on the issue, which will come up for review in the new year.
Handing over the building to BSA’s affiliate is (rightly) pissing off some folks because a) the appraised value of the building is about $1 million, and it’s being sold for about half that; and b) the gays don’t want a city-owned building to fall into the hands of homophobes. (Replies the city: That’s well and good, but this deal will save us a half-million dollar legal bill, which BSA is willing to forgive if we sell them the building.)
But fear not, critics. The sale requires the Cradle of Liberty Council to introduce “diversity training”! As in, how best to continue insisting you are not a homophobic group when your very by-laws prevent gays from assuming leadership positions in your kiddie ring.