A Philadelphia jury held that the city violated the Boy Scouts freedom of association rights by trying to evict them from a city owned building. The city said the Boy Scouts anti-gay policies violated the city’s anti-discrimination statutes. The Boy Scouts have occupied part of a city-owned building without paying rent for over 80 years. Because of their anti-gay policies, the city was demanding they pay $200,000 in rent.
The jury, however, felt otherwise, holding that demand was a violation of the Scouts freedom of association, which is protected under the First Amendment. That is supported by a 2000 Supreme Court decision which held that the Boy Scouts, as a private group, can exclude gays from membership.
The Boy Scouts have indicated they hope to negotiate with the city to work something out.