Deny Discriminatory Boy Scouts California Tax Exemption

youth equality act BSA

Target: California State Legislators

Goal: Deny tax-exempt status to nonprofit youth groups that discriminate on the basis of gender identity, race, sexual orientation, nationality, or religion.

Senator Ricardo Lara of California introduced legislation that would take away tax exemptions from youth groups that discriminate against members and leaders. The new legislation, known as the Youth Equality Act, is a move intended to pressure the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) to lift its ban on gay scouts and adult volunteers. As a nonprofit organization, the BSA is exempt from state taxes. However, the BSA should not receive tax exemptions if the organization discriminates against the same citizens who fund the organization. Encourage California State Legislators to support the Youth Equality Act.

Under the Youth Equality Act, the BSA would be required to pay corporate taxes on donations, membership dues, camp fees, and other sources of income. The BSA would also be obligated to obtain sellers permits and pay sales taxes on food, beverages, and homemade items sold at fundraisers. Organizations that discriminate should not expect public funding and tax breaks if they do not follow public policy. In addition, California citizens should not have to pay for the BSA’s institutional discrimination.

The BSA aims to train youth in responsible citizenship and character development. However, the organization discriminates against gay and lesbian youths and adult leaders. The BSA does not allow gay children to join and it prohibits homosexual adults from participating as volunteers. Not only is this policy outdated, but it also sends a message of hate and intolerance to the youths within the BSA. The Youth Equality Act requires a two-thirds vote from both houses of the California Legislature in order to pass. Sign the petition below to urge state legislators to support this bill in efforts to end unjustified discrimination.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear California State Legislators,

I would like to encourage you to support the new Youth Equality Act that would deny discriminatory youth organizations of state tax exemptions. This includes nonprofit youth groups that discriminate on the basis of gender identity, race, sexual orientation, nationality, or religion. The new legislation is a move intended to pressure the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) to lift its ban on gay scouts and volunteers.

As a nonprofit organization, the BSA is exempt from state taxes. However, it is my belief that organizations that discriminate should not receive public funding and tax breaks. California citizens financially support tax exemptions, yet the BSA is discriminating against the same citizens who help fund the organization. The BSA does not allow gay children to join and it prohibits homosexual adults from participating as volunteers. This policy is outdated, unjustified, and sends a message of intolerance. Please vote to pass the Youth Equality Act in an effort to end discrimination.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Jarekt via Wikimedia Commons

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46 Signatures

  • James Thrailkill
  • Eric von Borstel
  • Hermann Kastner
  • Frédérique Pommarat
  • Mal Gaff
  • Terrie Phenicie
  • Nancy Petersen
  • Holly Hall
  • Marianne Oelman
  • Melanie waleski
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