“At the end of the day, you can not be in a city-owned facility being subsidized by the taxpayers and not have language in your lease that talks about nondiscrimination.”

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So said Philadelphia City Councilman Darrell L. Clarke, as quoted in this NYT article about the Boy Scouts, who have lost a valuable rent free lease because the organization refuses to change its discriminatory policy toward gay people.

Hard to resist contrasting the anti-discrimination policies of the Girls Scouts, e.g.

The Girl Scout organization does not discriminate. All members must accept the values expressed in the Girl Scout Promise and Law and pay annual membership dues of $10. Girls must be between the ages of 4 and 17 years old. Adult members are women and men aged 18 and over. These are the only requirements for membership, and this has been the case since the organization was founded in 1912.

–Ann Bartow

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0 Responses to “At the end of the day, you can not be in a city-owned facility being subsidized by the taxpayers and not have language in your lease that talks about nondiscrimination.”

  1. Ralph M. Stein says:

    There’s a lot more sense, sensibility, sensitivity and plain decency in the Girl Scouts than the other organization.

  2. Eric says:

    One more reminder that I need to find other parents around here to start an alternative to the Boy Scouts for kids to enjoy a non-discriminatory, and non-militaristic, outdoor-oriented group activity.

  3. Ann Bartow says:

    Eric, see if there is an “Outward Bound” type organization nearby. You can try asking at a store that sells camping equipment.

    My dad was a Boy Scout leader in the 1960s and 1970s even though he had no sons, because he liked the outdoors and he wanted kids to feel the same way. He died many years ago but when I am back in the hometown I still get stopped by people who fondly remember my father from their Scouting days, which is always nice. Oddly enough, many remember how good he was at knots and teaching knot-making. Go figure! Anyway, I wish that organization would drop the discrimination already.

  4. LB says:

    It looks like Philadelphia has more integrity than most of our law schools, since despite the Solomon Amendment’s violation of our nondiscrimination policies, we comply.

  5. Ann Bartow says:

    Yep. Some of us on the South Carolina law faculty went through the wringer on that one, with the Speaker of the South Carolina House publicly denouncing us as traitors, and suggesting it would be our fault when Al Quaeda attacks the law school. Good times. Not. You can see for yourself here: http://www.schotline.com/harrell010605.htm

  6. wojo says:

    As a former Boy Scout, I’m always conflicted about this issue. I certainly denounce the larger organization for its views, but at the same time, the local troops and councils operate with a large degree of autonomy. During my interview with my troop leaders (i.e. the local people, the ones who I had contact with week in and week out, the equivalent of Ann’s father) when I was up for my Eagle Scout award, I was asked what I thought of the policy on homosexuality. My response was probably along the lines of, “It’s stupid.” This was not a stumbling block, and, in fact, I was probably in agreement with 100% of the people present. (I was fortunate enough to grow up in a relatively unbigoted area.)

    At the same time, would I put a son of mine (I don’t have any) in the organization, knowing that, at the very least, some money does flow up from the local organization to the national? It’d be a very difficult thing for me to justify to myself.

  7. umlawgirl07 says:

    As younger people move into leadership roles and as the cost of bigotry continues to rise (both through efforts such as Philly’s and through the reduced membership rolls brought about by principled boycotts), perhaps the organization will one day become one that fosters a love for outdoors (and many other fine programs) for all boys.

    I second the recommendation for Outward-Bound. I’ve sent one of my daughters on Outward Bound excursions and she is a huge fan.