Jun. 17th, 2010

rackmount: (Default)
[livejournal.com profile] rm pointed out that the boy scouts is about to have a big mess on its hands, courtesy of the City of Philadelphia.

Philadelphia rents offices to BS for $1/year; they want to stop because of the BS anti-gay policy.

What's perhaps more interesting is the BS defense: that Philly has applied its anti-discrimination policy selectively. Philly also subsidizes rent to the Roman Catholic Church. Of course, technically what's good for the goose is good for the gander. I agree with the BS that Philly also should not be subsidizing the RCC for the same reason. But, as you know, you mess with the Catholics, you have a BIG OLD MESS on your hands. And Catholics run A LOT of city charity. It's a big kaboom. It's a REALLY smart defense.

My legal background is failing me right now. It seems to me that giving breaks is different than withholding right to rent at all. That is, it seems to me that it is within a city's power to judge whether a person or organization is, for public policy reasons, worthy of subsidizing. (Or, for the matter, supporting certain charitable organizations and not others.) Isn't that what the whole tax code is about? It's not like they're saying the BS cannot rent at all. On the other hand, I am already way uncomfortable with the tax code, because it also is an underhanded way of giving protection to some people/orgs and not others. But maybe that's a class of organization thing, rather than an individual organization thing. My pregnancy brain is having a tough time thinking this out clearly.

So, my friends, what do you think? This is way stickier, it seems to me, than my initial read of the case.

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