Boy Scout battle over gays, rent goes to Pa. court

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Associated Press

Posted on June 14, 2010 at 11:04 AM

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Jury selection is under way in a gay-rights case involving the Boy Scouts and the city of Philadelphia.

At issue is whether the local scouting council can stay in its city-owned headquarters essentially rent-free.

The Boy Scouts of America has a national policy banning gays. Philadelphia says that policy violates city nondiscrimination rules.

The local council, the Cradle of Liberty Council, has occupied the downtown building since 1928.

Mayor Michael Nutter says the group must renounce the national organization's gay-exclusion policies to keep the rent-free space. The Cradle of Liberty Council's lawsuit contends the mayor's ultimatum violates their First Amendment rights.

The federal trial is expected to last about a week.

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