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Boy Scouts, Philly battle over rent, gay rights

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — A federal trial is getting under way that could settle a long-running dispute between local Boy Scouts and the city of Philadelphia.

At issue is whether the local scouts group, the Cradle of Liberty Council, should be allowed to stay rent-free in its city-owned headquarters, despite the Boy Scouts of America’s national policy banning gays.

The local boy scouts group, the Cradle of Liberty Council, has been based at its downtown building since 1928.

Mayor Michael Nutter says to continue the free rent, the local scouts need to renounce the national scouts organization’s admission policies excluding gays.

The lawsuit filed by the Cradle of Liberty Council contends that the mayor’s ultimatum violates their First Amendment rights.

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