Federal judge outlaws San Diego lease; Boy Scouts are too religious

Posted: Friday, April 23, 2004

SAN DIEGO (AP) A federal judge outlawed the Boy Scouts' use of public land because a lease implies the city endorses the group's ''inherently religious programs and practices.''

U.S. District Judge Napoleon Jones Jr. scuttled the Scouts' lease of a bayside aquatics center at Fiesta Island. Last year he barred a similar lease to use a city park.

Citing church-state separation, the American Civil Liberties Union had sued the city and Boy Scouts on behalf of a lesbian couple and an agnostic couple.

During 17 years at Fiesta Island the Scouts spent $2 million on the aquatics center. They paid no rent but covered maintenance costs.

Jones called the Scouts ''an admittedly religious, albeit nonsectarian, and discriminatory organization.''

The Scouts plan to appeal.

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