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. (Read more Boy Scouts of America stories.)