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Bill That Would Strip Boy Scouts of Tax Exempt Status Over Gay Ban Stalls Out in California

A bill that would have stripped the Boy Scouts of tax exempt status has stalled in California, the AP reports:

LaraSB323 by Sen. Ricardo Lara, D-Bell Gardens, would deny state tax breaks to nonprofit youth groups that discriminate on the basis of gender identity, race, sexual orientation, nationality, religion or religious affiliation.

Because the legislation is a tax measure, it requires a two-thirds vote in both houses to pass. The Senate approved it in May, but it was placed on the inactive file in the Assembly on Thursday, which is expected to be the final day of this year's legislative session.

Scouting leaders had objected that the bill would harm local troops that serve 180,000 California children and teenagers. Conservative legal aid groups promised to sue if the measure became law on the grounds that it would punish an organization based on its beliefs.

The Senate had approved it in a 27-9 vote making it the first LGBT rights measure to pass with a two-thirds majority.

NOM, having little to celebrate in their anti-equality marriage crusade, was happy to take credit:

"We're pleased that common sense prevailed in this case. This bill was put forward to punish groups that refused to embrace the radical homosexual agenda including same-sex marriage," explained Brian Brown NOM president. "The failed attempt to pass legislation like this is clear proof that one of the first casualties of redefining marriage is our precious religious liberties."

NOM, with many other state and national groups, urged their membership to contact their representatives in opposition to this bill. Nearly 400 emails, letters, and calls were generated directly by the National Organization for Marriage.

"Like the recent victories for marriage in Australia and Pennsylvania, the tabling of this legislation demonstrates that marriage and family champions can be victorious when their voices are clearly heard in the halls of power," continued Brown. "NOM and its allies will continue to build on these victories as we stand for traditional values wherever they are under attack."


California Senate Approves Bill That Could Strip the Boy Scouts of Tax Exempt Status Over Gay Ban: VIDEO

Lara

Back in February I posted about a bill introduced by openly gay California state senator Ricardo Lara (D-Bell Gardens) that would strip the Boy Scouts' tax exempt status for discriminating against members and leaders on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.

Yesterday, that bill, the Youth Equality Act, became the first LGBT rights bill in California history to pass with a two thirds majority when the Senate approved it in a 27-9 vote.

Writes Karen Ocamb at Frontiers:

LaraLara opened his roughly six and a half minute speech on the Senate floor with the Boy Scout pledge and then noted that neither the Girl Scouts, nor the 4-H clubs, nor the Boys & Girls of America nor the YMCA discriminate against gay kids, making them eligible for tax-exemption. The BSA, however, “is an organization with the central flaw so profound that until it is fully fixed, it means that they are out of line with the values of California and should be ineligible for a tax benefit paid for again by all Californians…”

Members, we’ve given the Boy Scouts ample time to solve their discrimination problem and they’ve chosen a path that still leads to discrimination. The BSA’s recent vote to allow gay youth as members falls short of truly implementing a truly inclusive policy. While it is a step in the right direction, continuing the ban on LGBT adults is premised on absurd assumptions and stereotypes that perpetuate hate and homophobia.

Lara closed his presentation with another pledge, the oath the members of the Legislature took to faithfully discharge their duties and follow California law. 

“I am proud that my colleagues joined me today on the right side of history by voting for the Youth Equality Act,” stated Senator Lara. “The protections in this bill live beyond the transitory actions any group may take now or in the future. The LGBT community must be protected in perpetuity.”

Watch Lara speak on the Senate floor, AFTER THE JUMP...

The bill now moves on to the Assembly.

Continue reading "California Senate Approves Bill That Could Strip the Boy Scouts of Tax Exempt Status Over Gay Ban: VIDEO" »


California Senate Panel Advances Bill That Could Strip the Boy Scouts of Tax Exempt Status Over Gay Ban

Back in February I posted about a bill introduced by openly gay California state senator Ricardo Lara (D-Bell Gardens) that would strip the Boy Scouts' tax exempt status for discriminating against members and leaders on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.

LaraToday that bill passed its first legislative hurdle, the AP reports:

The Senate Governance and Finance Committee voted 5 to 2 to move the first-of-its-kind bill to the Senate Appropriations Committee for review.

The Youth Equality Act, sponsored by Sen. Ricardo Lara, D-Long Beach, would deny tax-exempt status to youth groups that discriminate on the basis of gender identity, race, sexual orientation, nationality, religion or religious affiliation.

Should the bill pass the BSA would be required to pay corporate taxes on donations, memberships, and all other sources of income.

Said Lara in February:

“Our state values the important role that youth groups play in the empowerment of our next generation; this is demonstrated by rewarding organizations with tax exemptions supported financially by all Californians. SB 323 seeks to end the unfortunate discriminatory and outdated practices by certain youth groups by revoking their tax exemption privilege should they not comply with our non-discrimination laws.”


Boy Scouts Could Lose Tax-Exempt Status in California Because of Gay Ban

A new bill (SB 323) proposed by openly gay California state senator Ricardo Lara (D-Bell Gardens) would strip the Boy Scouts' tax exempt status for discriminating against members and leaders on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity, LGBT POV reports:

LaraCurrently, organizations that discriminate on these grounds may still receive sales [see items BSA sells here] and corporate tax exemptions, a provision that is intended to encourage acting in the public interest,” according to a joint press release. “SB 323 would end this exemption for youth groups that continue to discriminate by treating their sales to the same extent as any other retailers. This bill would also require organizations with discriminatory policies to pay corporate taxes on donations and other forms of income.

“Our state values the important role that youth groups play in the empowerment of our next generation; this is demonstrated by rewarding organizations with tax exemptions supported financially by all Californians,” stated Senator Lara. “SB 323 seeks to end the unfortunate discriminatory and outdated practices by certain youth groups by revoking their tax exemption privilege should they not comply with our non-discrimination laws.”

The SF Chronicle adds:

The amount of financial benefits scouting organizations in California receive through their state tax-exempt status is not clear, and backers of the measure said they would seek that information from the Franchise Tax Board and Board of Equalization as the bill moves through the legislative process. Proponents did say the measure would affect the Boy Scouts in particular, and hope a push in California will add pressure to the national scouting organization, based in Irving, Texas, as leaders there consider any changes.

"I thought it was necessary for California to make sure we don't condone the discriminating practices of youth groups like the Boy Scouts of America," Lara said about the timing of the bill as the national organization wrestles with whether to make a change. "We've given the Boy Scouts ample time, and they've chosen not to address this issue."


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