By Steve Tawa
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — After a two-year evaluation, the Boy Scouts of America has decided it will continue to exclude gays.
The group says the policy reflects the beliefs and perspectives of the organization.
From its national headquarters in Irving, Tex., the Scouts released a statement that quotes Boy Scouts chief executive Bob Mazzuca as saying that the “vast majority of the parents of youth value their right to address issues of same-sex orientation within their family, with spiritual advisers, and at the appropriate time and in the right setting.”
That national policy trickled down to a lengthy controversy here in Philadelphia.
The City of Philadelphia fought the exclusionary policy by unsuccessfully attempting to evict the local chapter of the Boy Scouts — the Cradle of Liberty Council — from their landmark headquarters building.
A jury determined in a 2010 federal court trial that the city violated the Scouts’ First Amendment rights.
This past March, the city was put on the legal hook to pay $877,000 in fees when a federal judge denied the city’s motion for a new trial (see related story). City lawyers have taken the matter to the Third Circuit Court of Appeals.
Mayor Nutter’s spokesman, Mark McDonald, says the mayor is disappointed that any organization would engage in discriminatory practices.
“The Girl Scouts organization has figured out a way to serve all young girls, but the Boy Scouts have not,” McDonald said today.