The state Senate of California has approved a bill that would strip the Boy Scouts of America’s tax exempt privileges because of the organization’s policy towards LGBT adults.
“While the Boy Scouts of America took a step in the right direction to include LGBT youth, the standing ban on LGBT adults is premised on absurd assumptions and stereotypes that perpetuate homophobia and ignorance,” said Sen. Ricardo Lara. “Equality doesn’t come with an expiration date and we shouldn’t allow discrimination to be subsidized; not in our state, not on our dime.”
Lara wrote the Youth Equality Act of 2013. It was passed by a 27-9 vote. Specifically, the bill revokes the sales and corporate tax exemptions for any youth group that discriminates against participants on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity, Raw Story reported.
The BSA recently revoked a ban on openly gay members, but that policy does not extend to adult leaders.
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“Teaching discrimination against LGBT people can never be in the public interest, and the time to end it is now,” said Equality California executive director John O’Connor. “This is a historic milestone in California history — it is the first time one of the state’s legislative chambers has voted in favor of an LGBT piece of legislation with a two-thirds majority.”
The senator's speech is below: