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California law would remove tax exempt status for anti-gay Boy Scouts

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

A California state Senator on Tuesday introduced legislation that would remove the state’s tax exempt status for any youth group — including the Boy Scouts of America — that bans members on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.

Ricardo Lara

The measure, SB323, was introduced by state Sen. Ricardo Lara (D-Bell Gardens) from Los Angeles County, comes as the Boy Scouts considers a change to its existing policy that bans gay scouts, and prohibits gay and lesbian scout leaders, reported the San Francisco Chronicle.

Under what backers are calling the “Youth Equality Act,” tax-exempt organizations — including student groups or sports and activity groups organized through public or private schools — would be barred from discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.

If passed, it would be the first such law in the country to revoke the tax-exempt status of youth organizations.

Supporters of the bill say they hope the measure would affect the Boy Scouts in particular, and hope it will add pressure to the national scouting organization, based in Irving, Texas, as leaders there consider whether or not to rescind the anti-gay policy.

Lara said he had considered proposing the bill earlier but wanted to wait until the Scouts’ February meeting to see whether its leadership would change its policy on its own.

“It looks like they’re going to kick the can down the road, so I thought that here in California the very least that we can do is that those who decide to continue to discriminate will not continue to have the tax exemption,” he said.

Supporters said they were not currently aware of any other youth group that would be affected by the law. Girl Scouts of the USA has had a non-discrimination policy for more than three decades.

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38 more reader comments:

  1. Yes, Good!

    Posted on Wednesday, February 20, 2013 at 10:52am
  2. Awesome!

    Posted on Wednesday, February 20, 2013 at 10:54am
  3. Next, removing the tax exempt status for churches.

    Posted on Wednesday, February 20, 2013 at 10:56am
  4. Go for it!! Seeing the Girl Scout don’t discriminate, that’s a kick in the head to the Boy Scouts!!

    Posted on Wednesday, February 20, 2013 at 10:57am
  5. Let the outrage from religious youth groups begin…

    Posted on Wednesday, February 20, 2013 at 10:57am
  6. hope it passes, should do the same for churches also

    Posted on Wednesday, February 20, 2013 at 10:58am
  7. It’s about time !! Yes churches should not have tax exempt status !!

    Posted on Wednesday, February 20, 2013 at 10:59am
  8. Good!

    Posted on Wednesday, February 20, 2013 at 10:59am
  9. Sounds like a novel idea

    Posted on Wednesday, February 20, 2013 at 10:59am
  10. Especially the LDS and Catholic churches!!

    Posted on Wednesday, February 20, 2013 at 11:01am
  11. suck this homophobes! :-)

    Posted on Wednesday, February 20, 2013 at 11:05am
  12. Awesome!

    Posted on Wednesday, February 20, 2013 at 11:10am
  13. BRAVO!!!

    Posted on Wednesday, February 20, 2013 at 11:23am
  14. Good.

    Posted on Wednesday, February 20, 2013 at 11:29am
  15. finally

    Posted on Wednesday, February 20, 2013 at 11:57am
  16. Great idea!

    Posted on Wednesday, February 20, 2013 at 12:03pm
  17. Yes, Yes, Yes. It should not be limited to youth groups. Any organization that gets public money must be open to all, no exception.

    Posted on Wednesday, February 20, 2013 at 12:09pm
  18. Bravo !!! Freakin MO ldser’s deserve it!

    Posted on Wednesday, February 20, 2013 at 12:11pm
  19. Do it.

    Posted on Wednesday, February 20, 2013 at 12:18pm
  20. YES!

    Posted on Wednesday, February 20, 2013 at 12:33pm
  21. Same should be done with the churches, especially the Catholic Church

    Posted on Wednesday, February 20, 2013 at 12:47pm
  22. I think this law should apply to any organization, churches included, that openly discriminates against any one for any reason. Maybe this will prove to be an important step in the battle to end discrimination.

    Posted on Wednesday, February 20, 2013 at 12:52pm
  23. But they can still discriminate based on sex?

    Posted on Wednesday, February 20, 2013 at 1:05pm
  24. It will cost them, so let them hate at their own cost.

    Posted on Wednesday, February 20, 2013 at 1:17pm
  25. Can’t wait to see how they treat Mosques!

    Posted on Wednesday, February 20, 2013 at 2:07pm
  26. as it should have for the past 20 years

    Posted on Wednesday, February 20, 2013 at 2:55pm
  27. Forgive my ignorance but exactly why did the Boy Scout get tax exemption?

    Posted on Wednesday, February 20, 2013 at 8:17pm
  28. Ha!

    Posted on Wednesday, February 20, 2013 at 8:18pm
  29. Good

    Posted on Wednesday, February 20, 2013 at 8:18pm
  30. Well done Sen. Lara!

    Posted on Wednesday, February 20, 2013 at 8:19pm
  31. … ‘Bout-TIME!!!

    Posted on Wednesday, February 20, 2013 at 8:23pm
  32. Well done!

    Posted on Wednesday, February 20, 2013 at 8:23pm
  33. They shouldn’t have to create new laws for this process! The Feds sure as heck better do the same thing for other organizations that aren’t really what they claim to be.

    Posted on Wednesday, February 20, 2013 at 8:29pm
  34. Good

    Posted on Wednesday, February 20, 2013 at 8:50pm
  35. alright

    Posted on Wednesday, February 20, 2013 at 8:59pm
  36. Excellent!! What about the church’s who lobbied against civil rights with MILLIONS of donated dollars?

    Posted on Wednesday, February 20, 2013 at 9:30pm
  37. good, should do that to any group that is restrictive. EVen the girl scouts allow boys to join.

    Posted on Wednesday, February 20, 2013 at 9:45pm
  38. GREAT!!!

    Posted on Thursday, February 21, 2013 at 5:16am