SAN DIEGO – Boy Scouts (search) have been camping, swimming and earning badges at Camp Balboa (search) in San Diego since 1957. But civil liberties activists hope they'll soon be scouting out a new home.
Last year, a judge ruled that the scouts' $1-a-year lease with the city of San Diego was unconstitutional, citing a violation of church and state, and terminated the lease. As a religious organization, the scouts ask members to affirm their faith in God and reject homosexuality.
"The Boy Scouts have been kicked out because the Boy Scouts are a group that believe in God and we believe that's an infringement of the constitutional rights of the scouts and its membership," said Boy Scouts attorney George Davidson.
The plaintiffs argued that the city was illegally helping a discriminatory organization.
"What the scouts do is pick and choose which of the citizens of San Diego can use that property based on whether they are religious and based on that person's sexual orientation," said plaintiff attorney Mark Danis (search). "That's wrong. It's public land, it's for everybody."
On Friday, the scouts filed a federal suit against the city and the six City Council members who approved the settlement. Both sides agree this fight is likely headed to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals (search) and maybe even the Supreme Court.
The Bush administration also may be joining the scouts' legal cause.
Justice Department attorneys say they're investigating this and other cases where the Boy Scouts have been singled out and denied access to public facilities.
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