honor code

The Ex-Boy Scout Judge Who Will Decide Philadelphia’s Right to Oust Boy Scouts

If being gay doesn’t impact the ability of Judge Vaugn Walker to make a fair ruling in the federal Prop 8 trial, does it matter if U.S. District Judge Ronald L. Buckwalter, the judge overseeing the City of Philadelphia’s attempt to oust the Boy Scouts of America from a rent-free city-subsidized building, is a former Scout himself? Well one is an immutable characteristic, and one is a lifestyle choice. But I’d say no, it shouldn’t matter.

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  • oldgayvermonter

    What??? The real question here is why are the BS still in this building? This was old news long ago – they owe some back rent I think! Or perhaps the BSA has a team of Mormon/Catholic lawyers dragging things out, since they are captive to those fine equality-promoting religions. (a great expose of the church connections was in Rolling Stone some years ago – and I wish I could find a link to that 2-part story).
    Scouting has a lot of potential to teach good values, leadership, and skills that just might be useful in the third world hellhole we might end up living in, but the homophobia of the national (and very well paid) leadership negates much of the good that the local volunteers are doing.
    I say this as a 20+ year scout leader who once had to have my youth leaders cancel a rousing game of “Smear the Queer” that one of the little rednecks had come up with. The boy leaders had no problem recognizing the inappropriate game theme – a teachable moment – and shutting it down.
    So sorry BSA, no tax breaks and cheap rent for you!!

  • alan brickman

    they need to intergrate…..

  • jon

    I’m an openly gay assn’t scoutmaster and Eagle Scout. Very open. Going to National Jambo this summer, still not kicked out! :) Just so people know yes there is a national policy on gays, but enforcement really varies place to place.

  • Cam


    Hi Jon,

    I get what you’re saying, I really do, and I get that you like the organization. But it’s kind of like saying (Yes, this is worse, but in the same vein) that “Oh, I know that some cities in Iran will arrest and kill you, but not my city because enforcement varies.

    the largest donors to the Boyscouts are the Mormon church followed by the Catholics. While they have control I can’t feel sympathy and to be given a free city building when Philly could be earning $200,000 a year in rent from it is ridiculous. Just how many city services could benefit from an additional $200,000 a year that the Scouts are currently costing the city??

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