The 9th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals — typically thought of as a safe place for liberals — just gave the bigoted Boy Scouts of America license to continue discriminating against atheists and gays by letting the city of San Diego lease it land for the cost of $1/year:
Even though the Boy Scouts of America bars atheists and gays, the city of San Diego is allowed to lease the group public property at nominal rates without running afoul of the state and federal constitutions, a federal appeals court decided Thursday.
… the panel concluded that the city leases were not discriminatory.
“There is no evidence that the city’s purpose in leasing the subject properties to the Boy Scouts was to advance religion, and there is abundant evidence that its purpose was to provide facilities and services for youth activities,” wrote Judge William C. Canby Jr., a President Carter appointee, for the unanimous panel.
The plaintiffs can still appeal to the full court… but no word yet on whether they will do that.
This result is beyond disappointing. The BSA, as a private group, has every right to kick out people they deem unworthy, but the government should not be giving them any incentives for doing it. If the BSA wants to use the land, they ought to pay full price.
No other bigoted group gets this sort of gift handed to them — and you can bet that if we were talking about an atheist group that kicked out Christians, it wouldn’t be getting a government reward as a result.
(Thanks to Brian for the link)