May. 30th, 2008

jackofallgeeks: (Contemplative)
So, the Boy Scouts' stand on homosexuality is in
the news again
today, with the City of Philidelphia saying they can
change their policy of excluding gays (and atheists, apparently), or they
can remove their organization from publicly-owned land (technically, they
could also pay $200k/year rent). Now, I don't really care to get into the
details of whether a private organization can set discriminatory standards
for membership, or whether the fact that the scouts built the building at
their own cost has any bearing on the fact that they don't own the plot of
land, or any of the other bits in this bin. But one thing that struck me is
that this conflict is being framed as a "free speach" issue, and I don't
think that's appropriate. This isn't about what the scouts are saying, it's
about who they let into their club, and those aren't the same thing. I
think more to the point is the question of whether this is a case of the
government coersing a private institution through financial pressure, and
think that's more problematic, too. The city does have rights to operate
it's property as it sees fit, but it's still troublesome to me when the
government swings it's influence around to force people to do things like
this.

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John Noble

August 2012

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