Thursday, July 27, 2006

I Blame The BSA!

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There's been roughly one murder every day in Philly this calendar year. Most are young adults but many are teens. What does the good mayor think is important? Removing the Boy Scouts because of their policy towards gays:

No, the murder rate is a direct result of kids born into families in which there is nobody home to kick butt, kids who are uncontrolled and facing no future. The closest anyone in this town has come to addressing the real root cause was when Inquirer columnist Claude Lewis wrote recently about the need to give kids back their childhood.

Not only does the city not hear Lewis' wisdom, but it's about to contradict his logic by undercutting a private group that preaches ethics, values and morality to young people who could otherwise fall into the grip of urban violence. At a time when young black people are dying in the streets, the mayor has set his sight on the Boy Scouts.

...A recap: The national Boy Scouts require scout leaders, not members, to be straight. This requirement has withstood Supreme Court scrutiny. That's right. The Boy Scout position has been approved by the Supremes.
The local Boy Scouts disagree with the national policy and have said so in a very public way. They don't want to discriminate against homosexuals - and John Street knows that. They have gone as far as they can go to appease both the city and their national leadership by adopting a nondiscrimination policy that states: "As the most diverse youth-serving organization in our service area, we are committed to this mission and we oppose any form of unlawful discrimination."

That's still not good enough for City Solicitor Romulo L. Diaz Jr. Not only does he want unlawful discrimination condemned, he wants lawful discrimination to be condemned, too.

So guess who is poised to lose out? Not some Hitler youth. No, the losers are more than 40,000 local kids in grades K-12 who participate in programs called Learning for Life, or ScoutReach.

Typical Philly. The city is in the grip of a crime wave, the police chief takes no responsibility and the mayor is as dirty as any they've had (that is truly saying something) and this is a major issue to them.

As Smerconish details, this is an organization that helps all kids. It should be expanded, not condemned. Alas, this is Philly--the perpetual Democratic experiment--and we've come expect nothing less.

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