The high-profile dispute between City Hall and the Boy Scouts will finally have its day in court.

Opening arguments in a civil suit are expected Monday in federal court in a case that dates back to 2003. The case has received national attention and the decision will be closely watched. The Inquirer has a curtain raiser on the case in the paper today.

At issue, is the Boy Scouts policy that prohibits gay members.

Former Mayor John F. Street said the Scouts’ policy violated the city’s anti-discrimination ordinance. He ordered the group to change the policy or vacate its city-owned headquarters or start paying market rent of $200,000 a year.

The Scouts contend the policy is legal and cite a Supreme Court ruling in 2000. The Scouts’ Cradle of Liberty Council sued the city in 2008, citing its right to free speech. The suit also argues that other nonprofits use the 1928 Beaux Arts Building rent-free.

In an added twist, while the city owns the building, the Scouts actually built it. It's a shame the dispute has dragged on this long. While the Scouts' policy clearly violates the city ordinance, the organization does a lot of good for young boys. Hopefully, the court will come up with a fair resolution the city can live with that will allow the Scouts to continue to mentor boys.