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The State | IN BRIEF / BERKELEY

Anti-Gay Sea Scouts Lose Ruling on Fee

November 11, 2001|From Times Wire Reports

An Alameda County judge sided with Berkeley in ruling that the city has the right to charge the Sea Scout organization for docking its boats at the marina after the group's admission that it does not allow openly gay members.

The city stopped offering free berths in 1998 after the Sea Scouts, and the parent organization Boy Scouts of America, refused to budge on their anti-gay policies. The Sea Scouts sued in 1999, alleging a violation of the group's rights of free speech and association.

Alameda County Superior Court Judge James Richman ruled Friday that "public entities may condition public subsidies . . . upon the recipient's compliance with state and local laws that prohibit discriminatory practices."

Sea Scout officials were not available for comment after Richman's ruling was released. The group has 60 days to appeal.

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