The Boy Scouts of America's announcement that it is proposing to lift a ban on gay youth scouts hasn't persuaded a California state senator to drop his bid to repeal the organization's nonprofit tax status in the state.
Sen. Ricardo Lara, D-Bell Gardens, has introduced legislation to repeal the state tax-exempt status of any youth organization that discriminates based on gender identity, sexual orientation or religious affiliation. The proposal, Senate Bill 323, cleared its first Senate Committee last week.
Lara said in a statement that while he is encouraged that the group is "working to put an end to their discriminatory practices of excluding LGBT youth," the proposed change announced today, which does not include gay scout leaders or adults, "falls short from implementing a truly inclusive policy."
"While the proposed resolution is a step in the right direction, continuing the ban of LGBT adults is premised on absurd assumptions and stereotypes that perpetuate homophobia and ignorance," Lara said in the statement. "The Youth Equality Act will continue to move forward as we seek to protect California's LGBT youth in perpetuity from being excluded from either existing or future youth groups."
The proposed change in policy announced by the Boy Scouts today is set to be voted on by members of the BSA's National Council in May.
PHOTO CREDIT: Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, D-Sacramento speaks with Senator Ricardo Lara, D-Bell Gardens during session in the Senate chambers in March. The Sacramento Bee/Hector Amezcua.