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Philadelphia Gives Boy Scouts Ultimatum
"It's not something that is asked" of applicants, he said. "But if someone were to come forward with something regarding sexual orientation, political beliefs, atheism or communism, that would be a problem."
Cradle of Liberty says it serves more than 64,000 youths, mostly from the inner city, and that, as a result, its programming is centered more on mentoring and after-school programs instead of suburban camping trips. But it also hosts the oldest scouting event in the country, a three-day annual encampment at Valley Forge. Each year, thousands of troops gather to commemorate the harsh winter that George Washington spent there with Continental army soldiers.
Jubelirer said the council board has not decided how it will respond on Dec. 3 and is weighing its options, including a legal fight. What it would like is another compromise, and Jubelirer said it is hoping the city's next Democratic mayor, Michael Nutter, will be more amenable to a deal after his January swearing-in.
But Diaz said he had the support of Nutter and the city council, which voted in May to evict the Scouts if they did not change the policy.
"If I do not receive an executed lease, signed by the Boy Scouts, to remain as tenants paying a fair market rent, we will begin looking for alternative tenants that can take over the property June 1, 2008," Diaz said.
Staff writer Robin Shulman contributed to this report.