Philadelphia’s Building Sale Requires Boy Scouts To Host ‘Diversity Training,’ As If They Know What That Is

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.

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  • the crustybastard

    Look, Philly’s Cradle of Liberty Council WANTED to have an anti-discrimination policy, and they even had one in place for some time until the BSA mothership in Texas found out about it.

    BSA required the CoL Council to drop their anti-discrimination policy, or else.

    When CoL dropped the policy under BSA HQ’s duress, CoL found themselves in violation of Philly’s anti-discrimination ordinance.

    BSA won the Philly case due to the really appalling precedent of BSA v Dale, a holding that was based on the SCOTUS majority’s accepting, without question, BSA’s false claims it is an anti-gay religious organization with a selective membership, (rather than the reality that it’s a camping club open to all boys.)

    By the terms of Philly’s lease with the Scouts, taken in conjunction with the court order, Philly could have evicted the Scouts for NO reason, but they couldn’t evict the Scouts for discriminating against gays. The city chose instead to transfer the pubic property to the Scouts.

    So, of all the players involved in this story, it turns out that CoL Council is probably the least culpable party.

  • Brian Miller

    As a Philadelphian, I don’t know what’s most nauseating…

    1) The fact that I have been taxed by the city to subsidize a homophobic group for almost 100 years;

    2) That said homophobic group refuses to pay fair market value for the building, despite that cost not even equaling two years’ wages for their top two officials;

    3) That people are still making excuses for the inexcusable conduct of the extremely wealthy “Cradle of Liberty” council (which has over $19 million in cash);

    4) That in the end, the LGBT, atheist and other “banned” residents of the city of Philadelphia will be collectively subsidizing yet ANOTHER massive handout to this reprehensible religious corporation in this “settlement.”

  • Brian Miller

    Oh, and I forgot:

    5) Given the Supreme Court’s ruling in the recent “Christian Legal Society” case, it’s more than likely that the city would have won the case on appeal and succeeded in evicting the “Cradle of Liberty Council” from its property, but gave in due to hard-core lobbying by religious activists.

  • John k.

    @Brian Miller:

    This is the one from your list that makes me angriest.

Comments are closed.