Philadelphia Boy Scouts to Give Up Contested Headquarters

A Philadelphia Boy Scouts of America chapter has agreed to leave its longtime headquarters in a city-owned building as part of a settlement of a five-year court fight arising from the youth organization’s ban on gay members, The Philadelphia Inquirer writes.

In exchange, the city will pay the Scouts Cradle of Liberty Council $825,000 to cover the cost of improvements to the 13,000-square-foot Beaux Arts building the scouting group has occupied virtually rent-free since the 1920s.

The council sued the city in 2008 after Philadelphia officials attempted to evict it from the building, arguing that the group’s ban on homosexual members and troop leaders violated a local anti-discrimination ordinance. The Scouts won a jury verdict in 2010; the city sought a new trial while simultaneously attempting to reach a settlement.

The national Boy Scouts organization is set to vote this month a proposed new policy that would allow gay scouts but maintain the prohibition on homosexuals leading troops. Read a Chronicle of Philanthropy article on the pending decision and how the group’s donors are reacting.

Return to Top