December 6, 2007

"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."

And so the Boy Scouts lose their almost-free lease on land owned by the city of Philadelphia. You can discriminate against gay people — the Supreme Court said they could in Boy Scouts v. Dale — but you can't discriminate and expect to maintain your hold on the city's property.

The Boy Scouts have their values:
"Since we were founded, we believe that open homosexuality would be inconsistent with the values that we want to communicate with our leaders," said Gregg Shields, national spokesman for the Boy Scouts. "A belief in God is also mentioned in the Scout oath. We believe that those values are important. Tradition is important. Our mission is to instill those values in scouts and help them make good choices over their lifetimes."
The sad part is that to pay the $200,000 a year rent (instead of the subsidized $1 a year), the Boy Scouts would need to cut its services, which are obviously highly desirable to the city:
“With an epidemic of gun violence taking the lives of children almost daily in this city, it’s ironic that this administration chose to destroy programming that services thousands of children in the city,” Mr. Jubelirer said. He added that the organization serves more than 69,000 young people, mostly from the inner city, and that its programming focuses on mentoring and after-school programs instead of camping trips.

And the city will not only lose valuable services, but will probably need to pay millions to the Boy Scouts to reimburse it for the elaborate Beaux Arts building that the Boy Scouts built and improved over the years. What a terrible loss all around.

101 comments:

Sloanasaurus said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
save_the_rustbelt said...

I'm a little prejuidiced here (having 45 years in the BSA) but for this to happen while Phili is having a murder epidemic is almost incomprehensible. Gee, does the city council have anything else to do?

The BSA policies are set in response to parents and sponsors wishes, and any radical change would destroy the program.

There is no simple answer, but we will either have the Scouts as they are, or not at all. American society must eventually choose.

I don't consider myself very important in the program, but my real heroes in the BSA are the most unselfish and self-sacrificial people I have ever known (or probably tied with the members of the Salvation Army, whop are catching hell on another issue). The program in Phili will overcome this problem - I hope.

Cyrus Pinkerton said...

It's a shame the BSA chooses to discriminate against gays.

Danny said...

"Similarly, I would not send my 14 year old boy off on a camping trip with an 18 year old gay male camp counselor. Any parent that would is insane."

In all likelihood, this happens all the time. Take any and all anecdotal evidence with a grain of salt, but I have two close friends, both gay, both Eagle scouts. The question is, would you prefer sending your 14 year old out with someone who is lying about his sexuality or someone who is (allowed to be) honest.

Richard Fagin said...

Mr. Bumble had it right: "If the law supposes that, then the law is a arse."

"Everyone" agrees that discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation is wrong, at least until it's not.

Paul Zrimsek said...

The question is, would you prefer sending your 14 year old out with someone who is lying about his sexuality or someone who is (allowed to be) honest.

Someone who's lying, obviously. The fear of being caught will restrain his behavior. Not sure-fire, of course, but what is?

reader_iam said...

I'd like a few more details about the original lease. The building itself was paid for and constructed by the Scouts on land provided by the city government and park commission, which at the time were actively involved in projects to develop and improve the city, and specifically including all along and around the Parkway, as part of the "city beautiful" movement. (This movement in Urban Design was not limited to Philly.)

There have been some references to the Boy Scouts, as part of the deal, having been given rights in perpetuity. This would make some sense, in the larger context of what the city was trying to do, in cooperating with private organizations etc. to pay for development which the city itself could not have afforded to do. Perhaps the deal was: we'll provide the land, you pay and construct (a beautiful) building which then "belongs" to the city but of which you will have perpetual use (and responsibility for maintenance) in exchange for minimal rent of the land & etc. HOWEVER, I haven't been able to find actual documents or a even good, detailed and referenced narrative.

As an aside, it appears that the building was ACTUALLY built in 1929 and opened in 1930. Perhaps the "1928" date we keep seeing referenced refers to "the deal," whatever it was.

Anyone with good links--that is, not current news stories or blogs, I've read those--to actual historical, official and or archival documents or news stories--would get a big hurrah from me!

(Yeah, as usual, all into the historical and background details. What can I say?)

I wonder how that "reimbursement" is going to work out, and if the city is compelled to ante up. Even apart from the original construction and maintenance, I believe that something like $2 million bucks was spent, privately, to restore the building a couple of decades back--but I wouldn't want to be held to that, because it's off the top of my head.

TMink said...

Danny mentioned "someone who is (allowed to be) honest."

I am not sure what you mean here Danny. Nobody has ever prevented me from being honest. I have gotten in trouble for telling the truth, but nobody has ever prevented me from speaking the truth.

Trey

save_the_rustbelt said...

Having been through dozens of BSA training courses, I have never been told that gays are a major risk for molesting kids. In fact, it is strongly implied that the typical molester is not gay.

This is why I can never be alone with any Scout for any reason (excepting my nephew and grandsons), despite long service and being the straighest straight guy on earth.

The BSA refuses or ejects many more heterosexuals than gays, for any number of reasons of character.

Joe said...

The fear of being caught? Caught doing what? Sexually abusing a minor?

Are you suggesting that the fear of being kicked out of the scouts or lose a job is a greater fear than the fear of facing criminal prosecution for such an act?

Joshua said...

Someone who's lying, obviously. The fear of being caught will restrain his behavior. Not sure-fire, of course, but what is?

Yes. Obviousl someone who is not deterred by the possibility of a criminal prosecution for sexual assault on a minor will be deterred by the possibility that they may be forced out of the Boy Scouts.

Lawgiver said...

Since the city was leasing the property for a dollar a year to the scouts why didn't they just sell it to them for one dollar?

Joe said...

thanks, Josh.

save_the_rustbelt said...

There is an interesting aside here.

Both the BSA and Camp Fire have coed programs, which insulates them from claims of gender discrimination.

Last I checked, the Girl Scouts have refused to have any co-ed programs, yet have never been hammered for violating discimination policies.

A little double standard here?

Titan said...

Yes, a terrible loss. But isn't the idea that state "sanctioned" discrimination against gays is worse?

PatCA said...

"The question is, would you prefer sending your 14 year old out with someone who is lying about his sexuality or someone who is (allowed to be) honest."

That is a very idealistic, almost utopian concept. Most of discrimination culture rests on such airy stuff, but that's another story.

If you want to see how things work out in the real world, look at the example of the Catholic Church. Yes, gays are not pedophiles but not all the priests were pedophiles either. Yes, the victims can always sue later, but would it not be better to have prevented the abuse in the first place?

Roger said...

apparently one person's discrimination is another persons right of association. Given a choice between BSA and the City of Philadelphia, I go with the BSA. Make of that as you will.

Superdad said...

State sanctioned? Since when is being someone's landlord sanctioning the tenets actions? I also have a problem with the subsidy argument. If the BSA built the building in exchange for the right to rent it for a $1.00 a year how is there any subsidy? The city got what it barganed for: an atractive builidng on land it could not afford to develope. And the BSA paid its obligation in full: It built the building.

But to me the bigger problem with this is that the city owns the land. Government should not own land unless it is a place to build city hall, park the snow plows or is a park. Why does the city own land that others would want to develop for commercial or charitible uses?

Paul Zrimsek said...

My argument doesn't actually require that the fear of being outed and kicked out of the Scouts be greater than the fear of jail-- only that it be a fear. Even so, which way the comparison runs is not obvious; even though jail is a much worse outcome, there's probability to take into account. The BSA and public opinion have a much lower standard of proof than the law, as well as a lower threshold for action if things don't get so far as actual molestation.

I note that the description "honest [about his sexuality]" may be loading the deck just a bit: even in our discrimination-free paradise the most we'd be able to say for sure about an openly gay Scoutmaster is that he's honest about the homosexuality-- if he turns out to be a pedophile as well, he's presumably still lying about that part.

P. Rich said...

Traditional values are evil. Didn't you know?

rdkraus said...

Another good reason to keep gov't out of the property ownership/rental business. With limited exceptions property should be owned by individuals, who should be allowed to rent, or not, to whomever they please. All would discriminate for various reasons (some PC, some not), and we would all be freer. That's still important, right?

This is similar to the Newdow situation below in that it is largely the gov't involvement that is the problem. If gov't didn't run the schools, you could send your child to one that does or does not say the pledge, as you chose.

Liam said...

So, I guess that they will have to kick out any organizations that discriminate on the basis of... anything?

Have they fully vetted all groups meeting on city property and examined either their stated record or attendence for their meetings? Who will validate that all groups are open to all people?

*sheesh*

reader_iam said...

Say, I wonder if the BSA gets to take the the R. Tait MacKenzie statue of "The Boy Scout" with them, wherever they end up. Or must that remain with the Beax Arts property, which, after all, is on the National Register of Historic places, unless I'm very much mistaken.

Weird irony, there, if the statue must remain as is, regardless, because of other statutes.

AJ Lynch said...

This has been a 2-3 year issue in the city and was ginned up by the usual suspects in the grievance industry.

Reasonable people should have been able to reach a reasonable detente but unfortunately when it comes to the grievance industry it is their way or the highway. And I am from Philly so I know whereof I speak.

Pastor_Jeff said...

I thought law established that landlords don't have the right to discriminate/refuse to rent solely because they don't like the beliefs of their tenants.

I'm pretty sure the government isn't allowed to kick people out of subsidized housing because they're anti-gay.

Renting government property doesn't make you a government agency or employee.

Cedarford said...

Why did Philly choose to go after the Boy Scouts in the middle of a murder epidemic and with their decision legally exposing Philly to tens of millions in damages for breach of contract? And perhaps expose Philly to financial retaliation from a Congress that voted to protect the Boy Scouts from gay activists?

Because the leaders in Philadephia are almost all Democrats running the show, and the Gay Agenda now runs Democrats.

Yes, not all gays are child molesters and pederasts, but enough are, especially the pederast variety that greatly exceeds the heterosexual rate ***- that the Catholic Church is now out some 580 million as a price for welcoming gays into the Priesthood and leaving them unsupervised with adolescent boys.

The Boy Scouts did not go that route, and thus escaped the gay bullet that has almost financially ruined the Catholic Church in America, the UK, the Netherlands.

*** - Study shows that gay males are 21 times more likely to engage in sexual contact with adolescent males 17 -12 as older straight males are to have sexual contact with girls in that age group. Gays child molestation rate on children 12 and under is more than straights, but still less than double the rate of straights.

Tim Sisk said...

If the city owns the land but the Scouts own the building can the Scouts destroy the building a la the "Little House on the Prairie" finale?

Continuum said...

BSA fought two years ago to discriminate against gays. BSA claims it was a private organization.

Now, BSA is crying wolf tears since it can't gulp at the public trough.

BSA can't and shouldn't have it both ways.

As for the $200,000 that BSA claims would serve needy, inner city kids. Check out the program. Check out how much the BSA executives make in yearly salaries and bonuses.

As for the building. I am guessing that business law would consider any property improvements to be leashold improvements. Hence, the leasehold improvements belong to the city, ie the landlord.

Halloween Jack said...

The Boy Scouts have had thousands of child molesters in their leadership ranks over the decades despite the ban. The Girl Scouts, on the other hand, don't seem to have had that problem, despite a non-discrimation policy that includes sexual orientation.

Maybe the Philly Girl Scouts would like new headquarters?

Freder Frederson said...

The Boy Scouts did not go that route, and thus escaped the gay bullet that has almost financially ruined the Catholic Church in America, the UK, the Netherlands.

Cedarford's real problem with the homosexuals is that it was all the homosexuals in the upper echelons of the Nazi party that brought it down. If not for them, the glorious Third Reich would still be running a Greater Germany.

Freder Frederson said...

*** - Study shows that gay males are 21 times more likely to engage in sexual contact with adolescent males 17 -12 as older straight males are to have sexual contact with girls in that age group. Gays child molestation rate on children 12 and under is more than straights, but still less than double the rate of straights.

What "study" is that Cedarford? One produced by the monkeys flying out of your ass? You are incredibly stupid. Show me one high school in this country that doesn't regularly have to fire a teacher who is caught screwing a cheerleader. Just because such cases are more likely to be prosecuted, doesn't mean they are more prevalent.

jimbino said...

Good riddance to the Boy Scouts. I started fighting them here in Austin, TX back in '94 or so and we eventually got the bastards kicked out of United Way solicitations for their clear discrimination against gays and non-theists.

Of course, Austin has always been ahead of the so-called "City of Brotherly Love."

Fortunately, the Girl Scouts distinguish themselves from the Boy Scouts by not practicing that discrimination. I recommend that the City of Philadelphia cede the property to the Girl Scouts under the condition that they institute a chapter for Boys!

AllenS said...

Freder said:

"... all the homosexuals in the upper echelons of the Nazi party that brought it down. If not for them, the glorious Third Reich would still be running a Greater Germany."

I think that the USArmy and the Russian Army had much more to do about ending the Third Reich. But why not be silly.

Jim Howard said...

"Cedarford's real problem with the homosexuals is that it was all the homosexuals in the upper echelons of the Nazi party that brought it down. If not for them, the glorious Third Reich would still be running a Greater Germany."

Geeze, and all this time I thought it was the Soviet and Allied invasions of Germany that won the war. But no, it was gay Nazis!!!!!!

There is no end to the useful facts one learns from Althouse comments.

Roger said...

Its the Freder-Cederford show--playing once again in Althouse Prime time.

Freder Frederson said...

The policy seems draconian - no gays at all. But, its better to be safe than sorry.

So in Sloan's world, Ted Haggert and Larry Craig would be A-okay scout leaders. After all, they are not gay, never have been.

Sloan, you idiot. The point that both you, the BSA, and so many others are missing, is abberrent behavior like molesting children results from people deny and repress their sexuality. People who accept who they are, and are accepted for who they are, are less likely to be abusive and prey on innocent victims.

reader_iam said...

SOS.

Smilin' Jack said...

Ms. Sobel said the city required that any organization that rented property from it agree to nondiscriminatory language in its lease.

but

City officials said the market value for renting the building was about $200,000 a year, and they invited the Boy Scouts to remain as full-paying tenants.

Congratulations to the city of Philadelphia for sending a clear message that discrimination is very wrong, unless the city can make some money off of it. Kinda like gambling.

Freder Frederson said...

Scholars say that it is an ironclad fact that the gay Nazis conspired with the international Jewish Communists and the American Socialist limited access highway builders to destroy the Third Reich from within.

Or something like that.

Roger said...

"Sloan, you idiot..." Freder: is it possible you could ever make a point without some kind of invective and personal insult? It suggests you have the mental temperment of a 4 year old. Please make a concerted effort to grow up and act like an adult when you interact with adults.

Paul Zrimsek said...

abberrent behavior like molesting children results from people deny and repress their sexuality.

Since we don't give straights cause to deny and repress their sexuality, it would seem to follow that Cedarford's high-looking estimate of the differential tendency for gays to molest children is, if anything, an understatement.

tony said...

This really burns me.
I'm a leader in the BSA. And, yes, they discriminate against gays.
And, no, I wouldn't mix pubescent girls with straight adult males, either. So, they could spin it as an affirmation of the reality of gay sexuality. But they don't. Whatever.

The irony here is that the Cradle of Liberty Council has tried for years to get the BSA to change their policies. They're on the inside trying to make the organization change, but that doesn't matter, it seems. The are The Enemy and are Evil, and must be Cast Out. From a city that's run horribly, is deeply corrupt, had an incompetent fool for a mayor (Street), and has nothing to replace the services that the Boy Scouts offer. Hey, so we're the murder captial of the USA, we'll deal with that by throwing out the most useful organization for giving young males something to do. Good move, assholes.

This reminds me of the cluster-fuck douchbags in Massachusetts who got a law passed forbidding anyone to participate in child adoptions in the state unless they would place kids with gay couples. This basically drove the Catholic Church out of the adoption business, which everybody knew was going to happen - there's no way that the Vatican would allow it. So, nobody gains, a bunch of powerless kids get hosed, but hey, our Moral Purity is SO much more important. Double assholes.

Yes, they're discriminating, and yes, I believe it's wrong. But is this REALLY necessary? Isn't there something, like, constructive that you all could be doing?

TROBlog said...

I haven't read all the comments so someone else may have mentioned this, but it seems to me this has more to do with money than discrimination. This is prime real estate and the city can get big bucks from leasing it to someone else.

It's always about the Benjamins . . .

Original Mike said...

I stopped contributing to the United Way when they dumped the Boy Scouts.

TROBlog said...

Fortunately, the Girl Scouts distinguish themselves from the Boy Scouts by not practicing that discrimination. I recommend that the City of Philadelphia cede the property to the Girl Scouts under the condition that they institute a chapter for Boys!

That's only because lesbian sex is so much hotter than gay sex.

I joke, really I do.

Danny said...

Wow, I didn't know role models for straight theistic boys used words like "cluster-fuck douchebags". Is there some sort of badge for mastering that kind of language?

Freder Frederson said...

Freder: is it possible you could ever make a point without some kind of invective and personal insult?

I do to commenters who treat me with respect and do not resort to personal invective. Unfortunately, they are few and far between on this site (and does not even include Ann who has called me a troll and just the other day said "screw you" to me). I seem to be held to a higher standard than other posters on this site. I have never called anyone a traitor or said they should be lynched, things that regularly happen to me here. Nor do I cry because people are "uncivil" and then go on to tell people to screw themselves or call them traitors and unAmerican.

Sloan, Fen, Ann, and especially Cedarford regurlarly insult me and use invective. So until you start monitoring their attitude, I suggest you STFU.

Joan said...

The point that both you, the BSA, and so many others are missing, is abberrent behavior like molesting children results from people deny and repress their sexuality.

No, child molestation is how pedophiles express their sexuality. It has nothing to do with denial and repression of normal sexuality, it's deviant sexuality.

How do I know? I've been through my (Catholic) Church's very thorough, completely horrifying training on how to prevent child abuse, recognize the signs of abuse, and, most importantly, recognize the characteristics of an abuser so they can removed from the environment. Child molesters are totally creepy but very, very good at masquerading as normal people. That's how they snag their victims.

Middle Class Guy said...

The questions posed are:

when was the lease written, signed, and implemented?

WHen was the non-discrimination law passed and is the clause in the lease? Is there a case for ex post facto?

Is the lease still in effect or is it up for renewal?

Is their a discriminatory agenda at play, as the main complainant and enforcer is an official and gay?

This is nothing more than a two fold effort:

One to placate a minority, give them a victory, and ensure gay votes. Two, a profitable land grab by the city. They will profit handsomely when the BSA is evicted.

TMink said...

Freder wrote: "People who accept who they are, and are accepted for who they are, are less likely to be abusive and prey on innocent victims."

Agreed, unless they are self-accepting child abusers. More and more of those these days. Sadly.

Trey

Freder Frederson said...

How do I know? I've been through my (Catholic) Church's very thorough, completely horrifying training on how to prevent child abuse, recognize the signs of abuse, and, most importantly, recognize the characteristics of an abuser so they can removed from the environment.

Frankly, I wouldn't trust anything the Catholic Church has to say on the subject of sexuality. They continue to deny that homosexuality is normal or even that sexual. And could you please explain their attitude about birth control and masturbation? The Catholic Church still believes that there is something inherently sinful and bad about sexuality and the sex act.

Freder Frederson said...

I got kicked out of the Boy Scouts for eating a Brownie.

I know--its an old joke. But one I actually learned in Boy Scouts. And it seems oddly appropriate (or inappropriate) here.

Roger said...

"STFU" Can Fred be civil? short answer is no--probably a genetic defect.

Freder Frederson said...

Sorry, I should have said STFU please.

That civil enough for you?

Freder Frederson said...

I really am a nice and civil person in reality.

You people bring out the worst in me.

Lawgiver said...

Danny said,

Wow, I didn't know role models for straight theistic boys used words like "cluster-fuck douchebags". Is there some sort of badge for mastering that kind of language?

You didn't know that? You must lead a very sheltered life. My old scout master was a retired navy chief. He never cursed around us but I kinda think he maybe did a couple of times when we weren't around.

save_the_rustbelt said...

Too bad this thread went into wacko land - sorry Anne.

If I were a cynic I would say that the Scout leaders and staff will be much safer with a headquarters in the burbs, but I'm not so I won't.

Given the size of the program and the fact that 99% of the labor is volunteer, the overhead is very well controled in most councils (that is difficult to tell from most 990 filings).

John Stodder said...

Because the leaders in Philadephia are almost all Democrats running the show, and the Gay Agenda now runs Democrats.

I realize this comment was made to show disdain for the "Democrats running the show," but the fact is, Democrats are running the show in almost every major American city, and whether you like it or not, fighting discrimination against gays is a core belief of Democrats on civil rights grounds. It's not just a pander. It's not going to change. Nor is the Democrats' headlock on urban politics.

So, maybe in the interest of the kids they want to help, it's time for the BSA to make some accommodation to political reality? Do they want to be a rural/suburban red state organization, or do they want to be effective in the cities? I'd argue the cities are where they are needed most.

A lot of things are "tradition." Not all of them are good or acceptable in the full light of day. I'd say the Scouts' mission is important enough to the inner city youth of America for them to abandon this tradition.

Joaquim Luis Oeste said...

the fact is, Democrats are running the show in almost every major American city, and whether you like it or not, fighting discrimination against gays is a core belief of Democrats on civil rights grounds.

And sadly protecting children isn't even on their radar.

For that reason and others I say that this is all for the best. Since the lease was first signed the city has devolved into a corrupt entity, and the scouts will be far better off by severing all ties to it. There's an economic hit here, but it's a small price to pay in the long run.

Joan said...

Frankly, I wouldn't trust anything the Catholic Church has to say on the subject of sexuality.

That doesn't surprise me. The contents of the course did, though. They had interviews with pedophiles who described their methods of grooming their victims in sickening detail. Earlier "safe environment" classes were weak CYA efforts; the new classes here in Phoenix are thorough, detailed, and emphasize prevention.

Policy and Procedures for the Protection of Minors (pdf)

They continue to deny that homosexuality is normal or even that sexual.

What does "or even that sexual" mean? The Church considers homosexual behavior "intrinsically disordered." Male sexual organs are intended to reproduce with female sexual organs; any other use is "disordered," contrary to nature. It's not complicated.

And could you please explain their attitude about birth control and masturbation?

I could, but I won't, especially not here, and to you. If you really cared to know, there are many reputable Catholic blogs that routinely tackle these subjects.

The Catholic Church still believes that there is something inherently sinful and bad about sexuality and the sex act.

No, it doesn't.

tony said...

John Stodder:

You're right, it's time for the BSA to abandon their discriminatory policy against gays. The problem is, they're a private organization run by a bunch of old, conservative guys who would rather do what they believe than bend to political realities. I know this for a fact, we're trying to change this policy from the inside, and it's not happening.

So, given that, what do we do? Abandon the BSA and all the fantastic work they do with kids? And they do wonderful stuff - just go visit a BSA camp near a major city in the summertime, and you'll see. You can, but I think some tradeoffs have to be considered. Moral purity is nice and all, but in the real world you have to deal with imperfect realities. There's a price/performance tradeoff that has real world consequences for other people. Is the cost of throwing the Cradle of Liberty council out of their building worth the benefit? The cost is real - paid by kids who desperately need what the BSA are giving them - and the benefit is virtually nonexistent.
Oh, by the way, what political party do you belong to? If you'd like me to point out some other cost/benefit hypocritical tradeoffs, there a plenty for any US political party. Think about it.

John Stodder said...

Tony,

I'm a Democrat. But some here doubt me because I apply tough love to my lifelong party.

My point was: This is already an old story. Los Angeles, San Francisco and many other cities have deprived the scouts fee-free access to public facilities that they always depended on because of the anti-gay policies. The argument that comes back about all the good the Scouts do for inner-city youth is appealing but not persuasive to these officials. It is what it is.

At the time the Supreme Court said the Scouts could continue to discriminate, a lot of people said that decision was a Pyrrhic victory. It would have been better for the Scouts if they had been forced to drop their discriminatory policies. Then they could say to their old white guy leadership, "Hey, we've got no choice." But the court sided with the scouts, and thus sealed their demise in Democratic strongholds. It's tragic.

But I don't see Democrats caving on this. They only have a few bedrock principles left, but this is one of them. And, frankly, I wouldn't advise them to back down. What needs to happen is a discussion leading toward a compromise.

jeff said...

"I do to commenters who treat me with respect and do not resort to personal invective. Unfortunately, they are few and far between on this site (and does not even include Ann who has called me a troll and just the other day said "screw you" to me). I seem to be held to a higher standard than other posters on this site."

"So until you start monitoring their attitude, I suggest you STFU."

Yes, it's a mystery of the ages why those who treat you with respect are few and far between.

jeff said...

Hey john, I agree with you and others that the discrimination towards gays should end and is based more on fear that a realistic threat, but if the Boy Scouts cave on that, the next thing to be removed will be God. Will or should they cave on that?

Revenant said...

And the city will not only lose valuable services

The Boy Scouts aren't the only organization that helps children. I'm sure a non-bigoted group will step in to fill the void.

but will probably need to pay millions to the Boy Scouts to reimburse it for the elaborate Beaux Arts building that the Boy Scouts built and improved over the years.

Why would they have to pay for a building that was built on rented land?

Revenant said...

I would not send my 14 year old daughter off on a camping trip with an 18 year old high school male camp counselor. [...] Similarly, I would not send my 14 year old boy off on a camping trip with an 18 year old gay male camp counselor.

Sloan, that argument only makes sense if your 14-year-old son is homosexual.

Of course, if he was homosexual he wouldn't be allowed to be a boy scout anyway. They consider atheists and homosexuals to be morally unfit for scouting in any capacity.

John Stodder said...

I would say the BSA should not "cave on God." As a practical matter, the urban Democrats who are at issue would be unlikely to deprive the Scouts of access to public facilities because of what atheists will think.

Why are these two issues linked? Anti-gay discrimination, hatred, bigotry or whatever it is, is a decision of people. There's no religious argument for it, except insofar as there is a religious case against adultery. And most religious people have practiced adultery, at least in the US, as the Bible defines it.

tony said...

John Stodder,
The problem is that the Boy Scouts aren't going to budge, or if they do, it'll be when the current leaders die off. Which could be a long time.
If you're going to expel the BSA, you need to answer: is the cost worth the benefit?

The first question you really need to answer is, what are the costs? People really don't think about this, they just say, "Hey, they're bigoted, get rid of them! Whatever the cost! Oh, someone else will replace them. What, me do it? Oh, gosh, I would, but I'm real busy!"

Then, what are the benefits? Really? Not so much. We all feel good about ourselves. Yay! Screw the little kids, they'll feel better knowing we saved them from the bigoted Boy Scouts.

Some people are OK with this, I'm not. We need to pressure the BSA to change, but it'll happen slowly, and I don't really see a huge cost to letting it happen slowly, especially compared to the cost of throwing them out.

Joe said...

"You're right, it's time for the BSA to abandon their discriminatory policy against gays. The problem is, they're a private organization run by a bunch of old, conservative guys who would rather do what they believe than bend to political realities.

...

Moral purity is nice and all, but in the real world you have to deal with imperfect realities."

(emphasis added)

TROBlog said...

The problem is, they're a private organization run by a bunch of old, conservative guys who would rather do what they believe than bend to political realities.

Two problems with this statement. The organization is not run by a bunch of old, conservative guys. Lots of younger people, mostly parents in their 20s, 30s, and 40s, run it and the vast majority approve of the current policy.

Secondly, perhaps these people believe that one should not just toss a deeply-held principle principle to "bend to a political reality?"

If only more people were like that.

Worse case is they move to another building - privately owned, perhaps a church - and continue their good work. Many troops are doing this already so they don't have to deal with this kind of blackmail. (I call it that because as someone already noted, it can't be about discrimination since the city would gladly take the $200,000 rent if the Scouts could pay it. Amazing out money works that way, huh? ).

It's inconvenient but little more.

Oh, and by the way, I, too, quit giving to the United Way when they cut the Scouts out. As proven in Katrina and other disasters, churches and religious organizations do just fine (and better than the government) in providing help to the needy and that is where my charity goes now.

John Stodder said...

The problem is that the Boy Scouts aren't going to budge, or if they do, it'll be when the current leaders die off.

Well, that's tragic if true.

Essentially, this is a hostage crisis, and if neither side blinks, the hostages will die.

I would suggest the BSA look at where society's going on the issue of anti-gay discrimination and then reevaluate. A decision to stick to tradition in places like Philadelphia or San Francisco is, in effect, a decision to pull out of those markets. If their consciences can bear that responsibility, then so be it.

Cyrus Pinkerton said...

Tony,

If you're associated with the BSA, it seems to me that you should be posing your question to the BSA leadership about their discrimination policy. That is, "is the cost worth the benefit?"

Freder Frederson said...

Yes, it's a mystery of the ages why those who treat you with respect are few and far between.

Has Roger ever criticized Sloan, Cedarford or Fen for calling people traitors, unAmerican or even pedophiles? I don't think so.

That is my point. The right wing commenters on this site can fling all kinds of invective and insult. When the liberals do it, we are suddenly being rude.

Give me a freaking break.

jeff said...

Speak of giving me a break..

"Has Roger ever criticized Sloan, Cedarford or Fen for calling people traitors, unAmerican or even pedophiles? I don't think so."

Cederford can't step foot in here without being criticized and rightfully so. I missed Fen calling people traitors, or unamerican but I suspect context has a great deal to do with it. If someone is rooting for the people killing our people, then yeah, you might get called that. Give me an example so I can see what the context was. As far as calling people pedophiles, god damn right. If you come in here defending someone who had sex with a 13 year old kid and blaming it on the kid, or denying it happened or defending him for being "set up" or all three at the same time AS THOSE PEOPLE DID, then you might get called that.

Now we come to you. If someone disagrees with you, you insult them. You are not even in the same area code as the offenses you listed.

Freder Frederson said...

If someone is rooting for the people killing our people, then yeah, you might get called that.

I have never rooted for the people killing our people. Anyone who says I have is a despicable liar. That is why I personally insult the likes of Sloan, Cedarford and Fen, because they have done just that. They mistake my love for the things I believe this country is supposed to stand for (respect for human rights and the rule of law) for cowardice and treason.

jeff said...

As stated, throw up some examples. Let me see the context.

jeff said...

Oh and when did Roger call you that? Was he on the thread when this happened? Or is your position one of collective guilt? If one person insults you then everyone else is open season for you?

Revenant said...

Tony,

People really don't think about this, they just say, "Hey, they're bigoted, get rid of them! Whatever the cost! Oh, someone else will replace them. What, me do it? Oh, gosh, I would, but I'm real busy!"

We're talking about a taypayer subsidy here. Let's not bend over backwards to kiss the ass of the Boy Scouts for the "great work" they're doing. If they're doing such great work, why can't the parents of Scouts pick up the check? Yeah, yeah, I know they're from "the inner city". But they claim to be helping 69,000 kids. $200,000 a year divided by 69,000 kids comes to twenty-five cents per kid per month. The homeless man waving a "9/11 was an inside job" sign outside my old office could afford that.

Why should I, a taxpayer, have to underwrite bigotry just because some parents who don't mind bigotry are too cheap to spend a single penny per day to Scouting?

Yay! Screw the little kids, they'll feel better knowing we saved them from the bigoted Boy Scouts.

In a free society, so long as a need exists something will come forward to meet that need, no government subsidies necessary. Kids want to play outdoors and learn survival skills? Someone will provide that. The reason such groups aren't already common is that governments subsidize Scouting.

PatCA said...

"Sloan, that argument only makes sense if your 14-year-old son is homosexual."

That's not true, Revenant. The legal notion of sexual crimes or harassment hangs on the recognition that disparate ages or power relationships create vulnerabilities that need to be protected. A 14-year-old is not the emotional equal of an adult, especially one who is an authority figure.

Joan said...

It would have been better for the Scouts if they had been forced to drop their discriminatory policies.

Better for who? And who's going to do the forcing? And will it be better for you when your private group or interest is "forced" to do something that it doesn't want to, against the wishes of the group?

Sheesh.

save_the_rustbelt said...

"...It would have been better for the Scouts if they had been forced to drop their discriminatory policies....."

There would be no Scouts, because many of the parents would pull out their youth, many of us leaders would drop our volunteer work, and many of the sponsoring institutions would drop.

Any one of the three would kill the program. Which is, of course, the objective of many on the left, although they will never admit it.

save_the_rustbelt said...

....The Boy Scouts aren't the only organization that helps children. I'm sure a non-bigoted group will step in to fill the void.....

In the past hundred years no youth program has been as effective or has drawn so many long time volunteers who spend immense amounts of time and money on the program.

Many youth groups do good work. none could easily replace the BSA.

Revenant said...

That's not true, Revenant. The legal notion of sexual crimes or harassment hangs on the recognition that disparate ages or power relationships create vulnerabilities that need to be protected. A 14-year-old is not the emotional equal of an adult, especially one who is an authority figure.

If you're worried that a scoutmaster might rape his charges, why not worry that he might kill them or beat them bloody? If you're that paranoid about letting your children out of your sight I can't see how it makes sense to send them off with a scoutmaster at all, sexual orientation notwithstanding. I would also observe that all a homosexual sex predator has to do in order to become a scoutmaster is deny being gay. It just isn't credible to think that allowing gay scoutmasters would increase the risk of child molestation. What predators are getting turned away now -- the ones who love molesting little boys but just can't bring themselves to deny being gay? Come on.

In closing, I'd like to point out that the BSA's official explanation for why they do not allow gay scoutmasters is that gay men are not good moral role models. So even if your concerns about molestation made sense, the fact remains that the BSA is motivated by sheer bigotry and ignorance.

tony said...

Revenant,
You're right, the reason the BSA won't allow gay leaders is bigotry. I'll stipulate to that.
Your attitude is exactly the problem I'm complaining about.
Is the cost of this worth the benefit? You seem to automatically think so, but I suspect you have no idea what benefits the Boy Scouts bring.

You argue:
- It's not that much money. Well, yes it is. We could go back and forth on this forever, but the BSA is a nonprofit that does real charitable work, and their money is tight.

-We can get rid of the Boy Scouts, and a replacement organization will magically appear to replace them. If you're determined to believe this, it's hard to argue with you, but I'm certain you're wrong. The BSA has a very long history and a lot of volunteer support and some very deep institutional memory and iconic status which allows them to accomplish a great deal, I've seen it. In the Philly area, where I live, there aren't any alternatives, a lot of my neighbors have looked. The only possible one would be the Indian Guides sponsored by the YMCA, but the local Y's weren't interested in doing it.

- I don't want my tax money supporting (whatever). Yeah, well, welcome to the club, there are gobs of things that I don't want my tax money supporting. But, like I said before, is denying them the use of this property (and breaking a very old agreement) worth the negligible benefit of some moral self-righteousness?

Cyrus Pinkerton said...

rustbelt wrote:

Any one of the three would kill the program. Which is, of course, the objective of many on the left, although they will never admit it.

This is pure nonsense. If "they will never admit it," how do you know it is "the objective of many on the left?"

Cyrus Pinkerton said...

Tony,

From my perspective, the "benefits that the Boy Scouts bring" are substantially undercut by the organization's bigotry. Again, why are you unable to get the BSA to reconsider the "costs and benefits" of their discrimination policy? Specifically, what benefits do BSA leaders see as a consequence of their policy of discrimination against gays?

tony said...

Cyrus Pinkerton said...
Tony,
If you're associated with the BSA, it seems to me that you should be posing your question to the BSA leadership about their discrimination policy. That is, "is the cost worth the benefit?"

************************************
We have. They won't budge. They're being stupid about it, I'll admit, but that's the way it is.
So, what then? This is where the discussion begins, not where it ends.
It's similar to the Mass law about gay adoption. The people passing it knew perfectly well that the Catholic Church wouldn't budge on the issue - many local catholics were sympathetic to gay adoption, but the Vatican wouldn't let it happen. NOT GOING TO HAPPEN. So, now what do you do? Pass it anyway, screw the kids, declare victory, and move on? Well, that's what they did. Morally correct, and effectively repulsive. Welcome to the real world, with unpleasant tradeoffs.

Freder Frederson said...

Oh and when did Roger call you that?

Perhaps I overreacted at snapping at Roger. But frankly he follows an all too common pattern around here. The chosen children get away with hurling all kinds of insults and invectives, but the minute a "leftie" calls somebody a name we are being childish or uncivil.

Of course our host amplifies this trend to the entire blogosphere. Left wing bloggers are rude boors who use bad language and insults (and some of them have boobs!) and the right wingers are the modicum of civility.

What a crock.

Cedarford said...

Revenent - But I don't see Democrats caving on this. They only have a few bedrock principles left, but this is one of them. And, frankly, I wouldn't advise them to back down. What needs to happen is a discussion leading toward a compromise.

The problem is the gay agenda people are not in a compromising mood. Civil Unions are unacceptable and rejected - it must be gay marriage with people forced by judges to give their full moral blessing and social accomodations to.
In adoption, demands childless gay couples to be given preference, like infertile hetero couples, in adoptions - over families with children and with lesser finacial assets.
They want complete bans on the military because the "don't ask, don't tell" compromise fails to heed their "no compromise, ever" mentality.

And as gays, it is ALL ABOUT THEM, not the children and young adults their retaliation hurts. And the Democrats are bought slaves to the gay activists now, because they depend on that high income, high disposable wealth segment of society now trying to dictate terms to the rest of us.

1. Young adults banned in many Blue cities from moving into the middle class by blocking the avenue of jrROTC, military recruiters from city schools.
2. Adoption agencies and charities driven out of business serving the neediest because they will not comply with the Gay Agenda leaders to change their religion or private group beliefs enough to suit gay radicals now ordering black leadership in many of those poor cities about.
3. Ending the universally acknowledged good work the Boy Scouts do with youth in need of guidance, also ending contributions by many to the United Way for siding with the gay "we're in your face!" faction against the Scouts.
4. Discouraging Church-State social services agencies from cooperating to help people in need just when everyone realizes from Katrina that what saved that situation and did the most were the "gay unfriendly" religious charity community, and the "bigoted, anti-gay Forces" under Russell Honore` and the Coast Guard.

Revenent - It just isn't credible to think that allowing gay scoutmasters would increase the risk of child molestation. What predators are getting turned away now -- the ones who love molesting little boys but just can't bring themselves to deny being gay?

Revenent appears to be blinded by PC. Of course gay Scout leaders, with the long history of high prevalence of gay pederasty, NOT child molestation, would be high risk. I mentioned the risk was found in a study to be of pederasty, not child molestation, but at a rate 21 times higher than the risk of a straight adult assaulting a pubescent girl.

That is because not only do gays have huge pederasty rates, and that fact is well-noted in historical cultures and in contemporary other countries as just a trait of male homosexuals -But they also have far more victims than straight pederasts. Thus 21 times the risk.

Horrified Church officials found not only that their accepting gay priests had generated 95% of the Churches sex offenders being gay, but that some of the priests had accumulated 30+ victims over a few decades...and that tort lawsuits did not give much mitigation to the fact that the priests were almost never child molesters (kids under 12 by law) but pederasts going after the traditional target of gay infatuation from the time of the ancient Greeks, Arabs, Chinese onwards - the smooth-skinned beautiful pubescent boys age 12-17.

With the Catholic Church in near-ruins in the USA - not just in financial terms but in lost reputation and fallen membership fleeing suspected gay pederasts - because the Church accepted unsupervised gay members and treated their "problem" with cute pubescent boys using the progressive tools then in vogue in the Left of counseling, psychotherapy rather than just defrock them and drop them off on Castro Street or a gay bar...

And Revenent is wrong about it being easy for a whole neighborhood to be fooled by a man being vetted and scrutinized by other fathers to defeat their "gay antenna" or his manifestations of an unhealthy interest in beautiful boys. In most cases, as Tony said, a "better safe than sorry" attitude leads to screening out people both straight or gay that other fathers and BSA officials believe would not be a good match for squiring their sons around.

Of course that screening is not perfect. John Wayne Gacy hid his gayness and love of pederasty masterfully. Enough to be accepted as a scoutmaster. And his gay target range was for 15-25 year old males, most past scouting age. Jeffrey Dahlmer, another gay pederast, who killed his boys (and worse), selected younger but was rejected as a Scoutmaster and got his victims elsewhere.

Revenant said...

Your attitude is exactly the problem I'm complaining about.
Is the cost of this worth the benefit? You seem to automatically think so, but I suspect you have no idea what benefits the Boy Scouts bring.


The claim that there will be any cost to society lacks credibility. Anyone telling you that their privately-run, supposedly "vitally important to society" program absolutely MUST receive government funding in order to provide its services is lying to you about either the money or the benefit to society.

"It's not that much money." Well, yes it is. We could go back and forth on this forever, but the BSA is a nonprofit that does real charitable work, and their money is tight.

It is less than a penny a day per child, Tony. Can you come up with an explanation why money would be too "tight" to cover a penny a day? One that doesn't boil to "almost all of the Scouting parents are deadbeats who expect me to pay to raise their kids"?

We can get rid of the Boy Scouts, and a replacement organization will magically appear to replace them. If you're determined to believe this, it's hard to argue with you, but I'm certain you're wrong.

Yeah, Tony, it requires magic for the market to produce a service in response to heavy demand. Sensible people know that nothing in the world ever happens unless the government steps in with a big bag of money and personally funds it. Only a true fool would think that anyone would take kids camping if the Scouts weren't suckling at the government tit.

You're certain I'm wrong? Alternative organizations to Scouting *already* exist, they just aren't the beneficiaries of government welfare. I wonder... how do you explain such a phenomenon? Magic, I guess. Actual youth organizations? Privately funded? That's just crazy talk! :)

The BSA has a very long history and a lot of volunteer support and some very deep institutional memory and iconic status which allows them to accomplish a great deal, I've seen it. In the Philly area, where I live, there aren't any alternatives, a lot of my neighbors have looked.

Amazing that despite the "iconic status" and the "volunteer support" nobody can check under the sofa cushions for that extra $0.25 a month.

Revenant said...

I don't want my tax money supporting (whatever). Yeah, well, welcome to the club, there are gobs of things that I don't want my tax money supporting.

Yes, but I have the advantage that the thing I don't like the government spending my money on, the government is actually legally forbidden from spending my money on.

But, like I said before, is denying them the use of this property (and breaking a very old agreement) worth the negligible benefit of some moral self-righteousness?

The Boy Scouts were given a choice between spreading bigotry and continuing to receive public funds aimed at helping kids. They decided "eh, screw the kids, at least we can still fag-bash".

I'm as upset as you at their lack of moral decency. But I disagree with your opinion that the appropriate response is for me to tolerate their inappropriate behavior.

Ralph said...

Does the city still exempt religious groups and private schools from property taxes? Isn't that also a subsidy to discriminatory groups?

PatCA said...

"If you're worried that a scoutmaster might rape his charges, why not worry that he might kill them or beat them bloody?"

Parents worry about that, about all dangers to their children. They worry about sexual abuse by teachers too. They worry about priests and youth pastors and coaches. Why? Because sexual abusers use their occupation to get at kids, and always have.

Yes, most gays are decent people. Some aren't.

But the scouts are children and are entitled to extra protection because they are children and assumed to be vulnerable by the state. It is unreasonably utopian, again, to assume there is some failsafe way to otherwise protect them.

Michael said...

To all those who insist the Boy Scouts could accept homosexuals, to no ill effect...

Start your own organization and show them how it's done. Prove them wrong. Show the world. The only person stopping you, is you.

Or aren't you buying your bullshit either?

And to all those who insist on using the coercive power of the state in order to force others to comply with your Utopian vision, don't you dare point your finger and yell "fascist," unless you're looking in the mirror.

tony said...

Revenant,
Please. You're sidestepping every question I've asked. You seem to think that being righteous is the same as being right. You are far more interested in your own moral purity, and you seem to lack any wisdom whatsoever about how the world works. Well, OK, go to town.
You might want to consider that you may be mistaken, but people who leave metaphorical spittle on their computer screens seldom doubt themselves. Whatever.

Revenant said...

But the scouts are children and are entitled to extra protection because they are children and assumed to be vulnerable by the state. It is unreasonably utopian, again, to assume there is some failsafe way to otherwise protect them.

Sure. But what you're missing is that banning open gays from scouting doesn't do anything significant to protect them from harm (like I noted above, it stops only those molesters who are unwilling to lie). That's why the claim that this is all about "protecting the children" doesn't wash; there are countless things that would protect children far more that defenders of the BSA don't advocate. Given that Scouting endorses and teaches homophobia, and bases its ban on gays entirely on their "immorality", it strikes me as unlikely that this is really about that trivial increase in child safety.

Actually, that brings to mind a question: given that black people are much more likely to violent criminals than white people are, would it be a good idea for the BSA to ban black men from being scoutmasters? Oh, I know that pesky US government won't *let* them ban blacks, but -- given your obsession with protecting children from even the most insignificant risks -- you should logically want them to if the government DID allow it. So... would you? And if not, why not?

Revenant said...

Please. You're sidestepping every question I've asked.

I think I've answered them all. Maybe you just didn't understand. I'll go back down the list and give short, simple answers to every question you've asked:

But is this REALLY necessary?

Yes.

Isn't there something, like, constructive that you all could be doing?

Opposing bigots IS constructive.

So, given [that to BSA is run by old bigots], what do we do?

Deny them the special benefits they, as an organization, enjoy.

Abandon the BSA and all the fantastic work they do with kids?

If their work is "fantastic" parents will support it without government handouts.

Is the cost of throwing the Cradle of Liberty council out of their building worth the benefit?

There is no cost. The 69,000 to 138,000 parents of those 69,000 Scouts can cover the $200,000 rent easily, if the "benefit" the Scouts provide means that much to them.

Either they aren't worth three bucks a year to the kid's family, in which case they're obviously not providing a significant benefit -- or they are, in which case the family will pay. So either the Scouts are useful and get to stay, or they aren't and have to go. Either way, society gets to tell a pack of bigots to go screw themselves and loses nothing in exchange.

Oh, by the way, what political party do you belong to?

None.

what are the costs?

See above: none.


But, like I said before, is denying them the use of this property (and breaking a very old agreement) worth the negligible benefit of some moral self-righteousness?

You mean is standing up for what is morally right worth the negligible cost of denying public funding to a homophobic organization that can easily make up the difference in the private sector? Absolutely.

You might want to consider that you may be mistaken

But heaven forbid that you might do such a thing. You're too busy explaining why homophobes are absolutely vital to children and people who oppose government funding of homophobia are just being "self-righteous".

save_the_rustbelt said...

The children who will suffer here are the inner city kids, many from one parent homes, who could not afford Scouting (or much or anything else) on their own resources. The kids from the middle class will be fine, but there will be less money for the needier kids.

No organization has infinite resources.

Charlie on the PA Turnpike said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Charlie on the PA Turnpike said...

First off, I am Scout Leader in Northern PA, outside of the Cradle of Liberty Council… so while I am not directly involved, I am on the periphery.

Secondly, the Council did build the building in 1928, but all media accounts say they gave it to the City in exchange for the 100 year lease.

Lastly, Philadelphia City Councilman Clarke has made a suggestion of repaying the local BSA Council for their improvements to the building. The Scouts estimate they’ve spent $5M over the last 80 years. The original lease runs through 2028. No one expects the City to hand over $5M (but if they did, the Scouts would accept, no doubt!). So $5M/20 years is $250K, which is $50K more than the proposed rent increase. I think the Scouts could live with that arrangement, and in 20 years find a new home with a down-payment for the balance (remember: Scouts are Thrifty!).

Hey, the Scouts didn’t push for this…. but they sure could push back!

PatCA said...

"it strikes me as unlikely that this is really about that trivial increase in child safety."

Have it your way: the BSA doesn't care about the children under their protection, it's all about the HATE. I imagine they would also not hire someone they suspected of being a pedophile. Hey, maybe we should have them investigate the background, friends, lovers, bank accounts, internet history, and family of each scout leader applicant. Then they could be sure! Oh, wait, that would be unconstitutional, wouldn't it.

I am sure they wouldn't hire a thug gansta, either.

If you think these worries are trivial obsessions, please don't have kids.