California has moved one step closer to revoking the Boy Scouts' tax exemption over their prohibition of openly gay leaders.
The California Assembly Committee on Judiciary approved the Youth Equality Act by a 6-3 vote on Monday. The bill, introduced by state Sen. Ricardo Lara (D-Long Beach), would prohibit organizations that discriminate on the basis of gender identity, sexual orientation, and religious affiliation from being considered a nonprofit organization entitled to tax-exempt status.
During a press conference, Lara said he was encouraged by the Boy Scouts' recent decision to allow openly gay members. However, he noted the Boy Scouts still prohibited openly gay leaders.
"What are we telling our youth? That when you turn 18 you're no longer welcomed?" he said. "It is premised under some very vile and sickening assumptions -- that somehow when you turn 18 and you're a LGBT man that you are somehow a threat to children."
The California Senate voted 27-9 to pass the bill in May.
"This is just one more attempt to send a clear message to our LGBT youth, that they're welcome in California, we care for them, we want to ensure they have equal access just like any other youth to participate in an organization such as the Boy Scouts," Lara said, "which again I have said publicly time and time again provides a critical and important role for our youth."
Watch video, uploaded to YouTube, below: