Friday, November 23, 2007

Countdown for Philadelphia Boy Scouts

The Philadelphia-area Cradle of Liberty Boy Scouts council is facing eviction from its historic headquarters in the city.

The city solicitor, Romulo Diaz, has given the Boy Scouts of America council - the third largest in the country - until December 3rd to renounce its ban on gays or forfeit the in perpetuity lease the group made with the City in good faith in 1928 (see Philly.com and Washington Post). Should they opt to forfeit the lease, the City will graciously raise their annual rent by a mere $199,999.

That the solicitor knows well that the National BSA organization will not permit a charter to a council that does not follow its policies, Mr. Diaz knows this will be a death-knell for Scouting in the greater Philadelphia region (some 64,000 Scouts in Philadelphia and parts of Delaware and Montgomery Counties). Considering the number of violent crimes committed on and by young men in that region, one has to wonder what agenda Mr. Diaz is pursuing.

Since the Cradle of Liberty council built the building in 1928, and gave it to the city in exchange for the lease, one wonders whether there will be efforts made to tear it down if they are evicted. I mean, after all: if the city can break the lease it has with the Boy Scouts, why should the Boy Scouts simply give them their building??

Oh wait, I know why: because were the Scouts to destroy the building, they wouldn't be considered Trustworthy, Loyal, Helpful, Friendly, Courteous, Kind, Obedient, Cheerful, Thrifty, Brave, Clean or Reverent.



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