The chairperson of Valley Youth House reiterated the group's support for its new CEO on Wednesday, following a news conference to formally introduce Tom Harrington.

Harrington previously led the Cradle of Liberty Council of the Boy Scouts of America, a group the city once sought to evict because its policy then banned gay members and leaders. Youth House does extensive work with gay youths, particularly those who are homeless.

"We intend to keep doing what we're doing," serving youths in need, said chairperson Lesley Fallon.

The Allentown-based organization has offices and initiatives in Philadelphia, providing shelter and counseling.

On Wednesday, Harrington said he had received calls of support from gay leaders, and would make more contacts himself.

"It's probably up to me to reach out to them, which I plan to do," he said.

Harrington, who worked more than 30 years for the scouts in local and regional offices, said he labored within the organization to try to change its policy.

The Cradle of Liberty Council scouts, which he led from 2010 to 2013, never discriminated, he said.

The U.S. Supreme Court deemed the Boy Scouts a "membership organization" that could exclude gays. But the city government contended that the scouting council's refusal to explicitly reject the national Boy Scout policy, violated the City Charter.

The city sought to evict the scouts from their longtime home on city property near Logan Square. In a 2013 settlement, the city agreed to pay $825,000 to the Liberty Council, and the scouts agreed to leave.

The national scouts changed their policies on gay members in 2013 and leaders this year.

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@JeffGammage