After a state Senate committee meeting earlier today, it looks like California may be the first state to take action against the Boy Scouts of America and other nonprofit groups that do not welcome gays and transexuals as members.
Senate bill 323 , introduced by Sen. Ricardo Lara (D-Bell Gardens), aims to deny tax-exempt status to discriminatory nonprofit organizations, requiring them to pay corporate taxes on donations and other revenue from fundraising. After being passed through The Senate Governance and Finance Committee by a 5-2 vote, the bill is now headed for the Appropriations Committee.
It’s sad that legislation is required to help force the Boy Scouts out of a dated admissions policy, especially since they’ve been using California tax payers’ money for decades to promote their anti-LGBT agenda. Aren’t they supposed to promote “giving back” to the community?
“The Boy Scouts provide a critical service for our youth,” Sen. Lara said in the committee hearing this morning. “But all we’re saying is that everybody should have the opportunity to participate in such a great organization.”
But the threat of legislation may have already knocked some sense into the Boy Scouts of America, according to Rick Conk, a former Boy Scouts president now on the organization’s executive committee.
Conk ensured the Senate committee that the organization “embraces this community,” and a change in policy is already being considered. “I think the process has begun and I think it will end up where it should end up,” he said. “When Scouting tries to renavigate it takes a while, and Scouting is in the process of doing that.”
The Scouts’ National Council is planning to meet next month in Texas to discuss further action.