PHILADELPHIA (AP) - A Boy Scouts chapter has sued the city of
Philadelphia for charging the group rent, because of the Scouts'
refusal to admit gays.
The scouts currently pay $1 a year to stay in city-owned space
that has been its headquarters for 80 years. But the city has given
the group until Saturday to open its membership to gays to avoid
paying $200,000 a year in rent.
The federal suit filed Friday accuses the city of censorship for
targeting the Scouts but maintaining free or nominal leases with
other groups that limit membership.
The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 2000 that the Boy Scouts, as a
private group, has a First Amendment right to bar gays. However
City Solicitor Shelley Smith says taxpayers can't keep subsidizing
the rent of a group that discriminates.
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