California Democrats Want Scouts to Pay for Gay Stance

Lawmakers push bill that could revoke group's tax-exempt status

By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff

Posted Apr 11, 2013 8:26 AM CDT

(Newser) – California Democrats are out to make the Boy Scouts pay for their refusal to accept openly gay members. The state's Senate Governance and Finance Committee passed a bill yesterday revoking tax-exempt status from any nonprofit that discriminates based on sexual orientation, gender, or religious affiliation, the LA Times reports. Sponsors openly admit that the measure is aimed at the Boy Scouts specifically; its author calls them the "most egregious violator" of state anti-discrimination laws.

The bill cleared committee with only Democrats voting in favor. Some Republicans objected that the bill could hit other organizations, like church-affiliated groups or boys' and girls' sports leagues, though the bill's authors say that wouldn't happen. If the bill does pass the full legislature, it'll almost certainly face a legal battle. "You are talking about taxing revenue that is very important to the local Scout troop," a Boy Scouts of America official testified yesterday, adding that the organization is "re-navigating" its don't ask, don't tell policy.

Boy Scouts and Cub Scouts from all over Northern California rally at the Capitol in Sacramento, Calif., to celebrate the 100-year anniversary of scouting in this Oct. 24, 2009 file photo.
Boy Scouts and Cub Scouts from all over Northern California rally at the Capitol in Sacramento, Calif., to celebrate the 100-year anniversary of scouting in this Oct. 24, 2009 file photo.   (AP Photo/Steve Yeater)
Boy scouts salute during the Pledge of Allegiance at a rally in Sacramento, Calif. in this 2009 file photo.
Boy scouts salute during the Pledge of Allegiance at a rally in Sacramento, Calif. in this 2009 file photo.   (AP Photo/Steve Yeater)
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