Boy Scouts Win in Philly Over Gay Ban

The American Civil Rights Union is extremely pleased with the June 23rd unanimous jury decision in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania in favor of the Boy Scouts of America’s Cradle of Liberty Council in their ongoing battle against the City of Philadelphia.

The jury found that Philadelphia was unreasonable in attempting to evict the Boy Scouts from their city-subsidized building because of the Boy Scouts’ exclusion of homosexual scoutmasters. In pursuing the eviction, city officials thumbed their noses at the Boy Scouts’ First Amendment freedom to exclude individuals who act inconsistently with the principles of scouting, a right that was affirmed by a Supreme Court ruling in 2000.

The City gave the Scouts a choice, to repudiate a national policy excluding homosexual leaders, or be evicted. Today’s ruling ensures that Philadelphia cannot evict the Scouts on the basis of their exercise of a protected First Amendment right, safeguarding the benefits of scouting for over 15,000 Scouts in the city.

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