Tag Archives: settlement

Rather Than Appeal And Fight For Gay Rights Philadelphia Settles With Boy Scouts For Half A Million Dollars

The city of Philadelphia and a local Boy Scout troop have resolved a long battle over the Boy Scouts of America’s ban on gay members. Well it’s been resolved for the city of Philadelphia to the tune of a kewl half-million dollars but in no way that ends gay discrimination in the Boy Scouts/

Originally the city had threatened to evict the Scouts from their city-owned headquarters building for violating city anti-discrimination laws. But a federal jury this year said the eviction would infringe on the private group’s right to free association. So instead of appealing the decision and sticking to their guns and fighting discrimination.  The city of Philadelphia has sold out and will instead sell the building to the Cradle of Liberty Council for $500,000, less than half its $1.1 million value and in exchange, the Scouts will forgive the nearly $1 million in legal fees the city was ordered to pay the Scouts after losing the case.

“At the end of the day, the Boy Scouts will be writing a check to the city, rather than the other way around,” Gosselin told The Associated Press. “This is a better solution than having to go through an appeals process.” said council attorney Jason Gosselin said Wednesday.

Better for the city of Phikadelphia to the tune of $500,000.00 but not for the battle of gay civil rights. 

The city of Philadelphia, the “so called'” Cradel of Liberty should be ashamed.

Itawamba School District To Pay Constance McMillan $35,000,00 In Damages And Will Update It’s Sexual Orientation Policy

The Itawamba School District has agreed to update its anti-discrimination policy to include sexual orientation and gender identity, and will pay McMillen $35,000 in damages for denying lesbian student Constance McMillen the right to attend her prom with her girlfriend

From the ACLU Press Release:

Itawamba County School District officials agreed to have a judgment entered against them in the case of a recent high school graduate who sued her school for canceling the prom rather than let her attend with her girlfriend. The agreement ends a precedent-setting lawsuit brought by the American Civil Liberties Union on behalf of 18-year-old Constance McMillen, who suffered humiliation and harassment after parents, students and school officials executed a cruel plan to put on a “decoy” prom for her while the rest of her classmates were at a private prom 30 miles away.

“I’m so glad this is all over. I won’t ever get my prom back, but it’s worth it if it changes things at my school,” said McMillen, who was harassed so badly by students blaming her for the prom cancellation that she had to transfer to another high school to finish her senior year. “I hope this means that in the future students at my school will be treated fairly. I know there are students and teachers who want to start a gay-straight alliance club, and they should be able to do that without being treated like I was by the school.” As set forth in documents filed in court today, school officials agreed to implement a policy banning discrimination or harassment on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity, the first policy to do so at a public school in the state of Mississippi. The school also agreed to pay McMillen $35,000 in damages and pay for McMillen’s attorneys’ fees.

“Constance went through a great deal of harassment and humiliation simply for standing up for her rights, and she should be proud of what she has accomplished,” said Christine P. Sun, senior counsel with the ACLU Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Project. “Thanks to her bravery, we now not only have a federal court precedent that can be used to protect the rights of students all over the country to bring the date they want to their proms, but we also have the first school anti-discrimination policy of its kind in Mississippi.”

In addition to today’s legal judgment against the school, an earlier ruling in the case set an important precedent that will help prevent other students from suffering the kind of discrimination McMillen experienced. In March, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Mississippi issued a ruling in McMillen’s case that school officials violated McMillen’s First Amendment rights when it canceled the high school prom rather than let McMillen attend with her girlfriend and wear a tuxedo.

Thats great news for McMillan, but unfortunately it still seems like Itawamba County and Fulton Mississippi is STILL amongst the douchiest places in America and the South will have to be dragged kicking and screaming into the 21st Century as local media are painting it as a payoff and the school itself is admitting NO WRONGDOING.

But school district attorney Michelle Floyd issued a statement today saying the northeast Mississippi district is admitting no wrongdoing in the affair.

“The Itawamba County School District believes that Constance McMillen’s rights under the United States Constitution were not violated by any act, omission, policy, custom or practice of the district,” Floyd said in the statement.

Floyd also said the district’s insurance policy would pay the award. Christine Sun, an attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union who represented McMillen in the lawsuit, said the claim is a “distinction without a difference.”

Head on over to to the Clarion Ledge page and read the comments.  You can almost hear dueling banjo’s in the background of some of the comments.

Boy Scouts of America to Pay $18.5 Million To Abused Scout

On Friday a Portland Oregon jury ordered the Boy Scouts of America to pay $18.5 million to former Boy Scout  Kerry Lewis, a man sexually abused by a former assistant Scoutmaster in what is believed to be the largest such award against the national organization..  The jury decided on April 13 that the Boy Scouts were negligent for allowing former assistant Scoutmaster Timur Dykes to associate with Scouts, including Lewis, after Dykes admitted to a Scouts official in 1983 that he had molested 17 boys.  The jury awarded Lewis $1.4 million in compensatory damages with that verdict and agreed the Boy Scouts were liable for punitive damages to be determined in the second phase of the trial that ended Thursday.

The case was the first of six filed against the Boy Scouts in the same court in Oregon, with at least one other separate case pending. If mediation fails to settle the next cases, they also could go to trial.

“They’ve always settled. And they’re silent. No one hears because it does not see the light of day,”  Kelly Clark and Paul Mones, the attorneys for Lewis said. “What we saw here in Portland really pulled back the covers on the Boy Scouts of America, and what it did to cover up.”

During the first phase of the trial, Clark and Mones introduced more than 1,000 files the Scouts kept on suspected child molesters from 1965-85 as evidence the organization should have put a sex abuse prevention program into place decades ago also Boyle said from 1984 through 1992, the Scouts were sued at least 60 times for alleged sex abuse with settlements and judgments totaling more than $16 million.