By Steve Tawa

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – City lawyers say they are ‘likely to appeal’ a federal court ruling that went against the city this week, in the long-running controversy over the future of the Boy Scouts historic building.

City Council was set to vote late last year on a compromise to sell the landmark city-owned building off the Parkway to the scouts for $500,000. In exchange, the scouts, having prevailed in a 2010 federal lawsuit against the city, would have forgiven their claimed legal bill of more than $1-million.

Council President Darrell Clarke says there were ‘substantive conversations to have the gay and lesbian community share space in the building.

“I hate to use the term working behind the scenes, but working behind the scenes we were relatively close to what we believed was a reasonable settlement.”

But Council never voted because of opposition from the gay community, which put pressure on city officials to make the scouts abide the city’s anti-discrimination laws. Earlier this week, a federal judge ordered the city to pay the Scouts’ $877,000 legal fees.

Reflecting on the earlier deal that was scrapped, scouts lawyer Bill McSwain says they would have been happy with it.

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