CA lawmaker: Use tax code to punish unpopular views

by CalWatchdog Staff | April 10, 2013 11:00 am

Ricardo LaraApril 10, 2013

By Chris Reed

As a libertarian who supports gay marriage, I’m not a social conservative cultural warrior. That said, I still think there’s something extremely troubling about government power being used to punish those whose views are different than the California political mainstream. That’s just what state Sen. Ricardo Lara wants to do[1], AP reports:

“SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — California lawmakers are considering taking some tax exemptions away from youth groups that do not accept gay, transgender or atheist members — a move intended to pressure the Boy Scouts of America to lift its ban on gay Scouts and troop leaders.

“Some cities have withdrawn free rent and other subsidies from the Boy Scouts over the years, but legislation introduced by state Sen. Ricardo Lara would make California the first state to target the Scouts for its anti-gay policy.

“The Long Beach Democrat’s bill, SB 323, is scheduled for its first committee hearing on Wednesday. …

“The legislation, also known as the Youth Equality Act, would deny tax-exempt status to nonprofit youth groups that discriminate on the basis of gender identity, race, sexual orientation, nationality, religion or religious affiliation.

“As a result, it would require those organizations to pay corporate taxes on donations, membership dues, camp fees and other sources of income, and to obtain sellers permits and pay sales taxes on food, beverages and homemade items sold at fundraisers. Because all tax returns are private in California, supporters do not know how big a tax hit the Boy Scouts would take if the proposal passes.

“Churches that sponsor Boy Scouts troops would not lose their underlying tax-exempt status, but an array of nonprofits, ranging from the Young Men’s Christian Association and Pop Warner football to the American Youth Soccer Association and 4-H clubs would have their tax returns and membership policies scrutinized by the state Franchise Tax Board, according to an analysis by the Senate Governance and Finance Committee.”

So much for tolerance of divergent views. The authoritarian impulse on the left seems to grow stronger by the day. The left knows what’s best, and you’d better agree — or else.


  1. wants to do:

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