Religious Leaders Line Up Against Boy Scouts Deal

A group of city religious leaders have sent a letter to Mayor Nutter asking that he reconsider a proposed legal agreement that would allow the regional Boy Scouts association to buy their Logan Square headquarters from the city.

“The sale of a public building to an organization that denies the essential worth of every individual disenfranchises those of us who work towards equality for all,” says the letter, dated Feb. 16, which is signed by more than 40 ministers, rabbis and leaders of religious groups.

You can read the letter here.

The proposal, announced in November, calls for the Boy Scouts group to pay the city $500,000 to buy its 13,000-square-foot headquarters in Logan Square, the focus of a civil-rights dispute that began over the Scouts' national ban on gay members.

The price tag is less than half the appraised value of the building. But the settlement would end an expensive legal fight and the risk that city taxpayers would eventually have to pay the Scouts' legal bills, now approaching $1 million.

Under a condition brokered by Councilman Darrell Clarke, the scouts have agreed to make building space available for community groups, including events like diversity training. Clarke introduced legislation to approve the deal in November, but no hearings have been scheduled. He said he had not seen the latest letter.

A spokesman for Mayor Nutter said the administration awaits hearings on the settlement. Nutter recently responded to some of the concerns raised by the city's gay community in a letter to You can read that missive here.