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[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.

Date: 2010-06-17 02:29 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] popkultur.livejournal.com
I admit - I have no idea how to analyze this. Ack. Brain-ache.

I'm not sure if I should be thinking in terms of 14th amendment. I also took Non-profit law and this is muddling things a bit.

I might have to fire up Westlaw...

Date: 2010-06-17 02:44 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] vulgarlad.livejournal.com
OMG! You don't know the answer to this? Its so easy! I figured it out in, like, half a second while driving my new BMW M5 to my $10K-per-month Big Firm(tm) internship this morning.


Date: 2010-06-17 03:15 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] popkultur.livejournal.com
Another favorite: "Wait - you haven't started your outlines yet? But, it's like, almost September!"

Date: 2010-06-17 04:10 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] rackmount.livejournal.com
You know, I shouldn't say this, but it makes me feel better that my more brain-clear law-ish buddies don't have this off the top of their heads either. pregnancy is a mofo for making you feel invaded and stupid. But maybe no, it is just that complicated.

But yeah, non-profit law. I totally forgot about that. Good issue spotting!

Date: 2010-06-17 08:02 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] kellianne.livejournal.com
wait, i thought parenting an infant made you feel invaded and stupid? when does it end?

i'm not in law, but read this entry out loud to my husband because it's pretty interesting to think about.

Date: 2010-06-18 01:03 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] rackmount.livejournal.com
My friend, I feel like I haven't had a clear thought in three years!

Isn't it interesting? I'm not sure what I'd do. I haven't read any legal analysis yet, but those were my first three or four thoughts. Equal protection gets funky when you start talking about tax breaks, charity, and public policy. And I hadn't even thought about non-profit law.

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