The Boy Scouts of America would lose tax exempt privileges in California under a bill approved Thursday by the state’s Senate.
“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,” California Sen. Ricardo Lara (D-Long Beach), who authored the Youth Equality Act of 2013, said in a statement.
“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.”
The California Senate voted 27-9 to pass the bill, which would revoke the sales and corporate tax exemption for any youth group that discriminated against participants on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.
Though the Boy Scouts recently voted to lift the long-standing ban on openly gay youth members, the organization still prohibits openly gay leaders. Lara said the prohibition on gay adults was based on homophobic stereotypes.
“Teaching discrimination against LGBT people can never be in the public interest, and the time to end it is now,” said John O’Connor, Equality California executive director. “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.”
Watch Senator Lara’s speech on the California Senate floor, uploaded to YouTube by CASenDems, below:
[Group of Boy Scouts via Shutterstock]