California has moved one step closer to revoking the tax exemption for the Boy Scouts because of their prohibition against gay members.
The California State Senate Governance and Finance Committee approved The Youth Equality Act by a 5-2 vote on Wednesday, sending the bill to the Senate Committee on Appropriations.
The bill, introduced by state Sen. Ricardo Lara (D-Long Beach), would revoke the sales and corporate tax exemption for any youth group that discriminated against members on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.
“Today’s vote puts California one step closer in bringing full equality to LGBT youth throughout the state,” Lara said in a statement. “With its passage and growing list of supporters and co-authors, we will end this outdated practice of discrimination and exclusion.”
The Boy Scouts of America considered lifting the ban on gay members and leaders in January but delayed a vote on repealing the ban until May. The Supreme Court ruled in 2000 that the group was allowed to prohibit gay members under the First Amendment, which guarantees the freedom of association.
[Boy Scouts via Shutterstock / spirit of america]