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ACLU sues Boy Scouts, San Diego, California

http://advocate.com/new_news.asp?ID=4406&sd=05/25/02-05/28/02

The Boy Scouts of America in San Diego should not be allowed to lease 18 city-owned acres because the organization does not allow homosexuals, a lawsuit contends. The American Civil Liberties Union filed the lawsuit in federal court. It wants a federal judge to end the lease because of the Boy Scouts guidelines involving gay people and those who want to be Scout
leaders but are atheists. The Boy Scouts had a 50-year lease on the site in Balboa Park, which was not due to expire until 2007. The organization paid the city $1 a year. In December the city council renewed the lease for 25 years with a city option to extend the lease an additional 15 years. Under the new agreement, the Scouts will pay an annual $2,500 administrative fee.

The ACLU had filed its lawsuit based on the original 50-year lease. Deputy city attorney Frank Devaney said the federal court action allows the lawsuit to continue based on the new lease. "The city didn't oppose that," Devaney said. ACLU attorney Mark Danis said the new lease outlines the group's argument based on provisions included in all city leases that prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation or religious beliefs. He said the original lease did not include such language but simply said those with city leases must abide by city rules and regulations.



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