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:
Lara 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.