A state Senate committee recommended Wednesday that California revoke the tax-exempt status of nonprofit groups including the Boy Scouts of America that do not allow gays and transsexuals to become members.
The Senate Governance and Finance Committee voted 5-2 along party lines, with Republicans in opposition, to approve the measure by Sen. Ricardo Lara (D-Bell Gardens), even as one official from the Boy Scouts signaled that a change in policy may be in the works..
"The Boy Scouts provide a critical service for our youth," Lara told the committee. "But all we’re saying is that everybody should have the opportunity to participate in such a great organization." The bill next goes to the Appropriations Committee. Passage requires a two-thirds vote on the Senate floor.
Lara said that by providing exemptions to state income and sales taxes, Californians are financially supporting nonprofit organizations. "Are we in California in the business of paying for discrimination?" Lara asked his colleagues. "I don’t think we are."