CA senator seeks to coerce Boy Scouts, other nonprofits

July 9, 2013

By Katy Grimes


Government should not be in the business of dictating the policies and religious convictions of private groups and charities. But that is exactly what one California lawmaker is attempting.

Senate Bill 323 by Sen. Ricardo Lara, D-Bell Gardens, would strip organizations like the Boy Scouts of their tax-exempt status if they don’t abandon their long-held values, regardless of the fact that boys and parents voluntarily sign up for Boy Scouts.

Supporters of SB 323 contend they are not dictating the views of a nonprofit organization. But that’s exactly what they are trying to do by  rewarding only nonprofits that adopt their viewpoint on sexual orientation and gender identity with tax-exempt status.

But SB 323 doesn’t just take aim at the Boy Scouts. Girl Scouts, Little League, YMCA, Future Farmers of America, 4-H, and Boys’ and Girls’ Clubs are all on Lara’s hit list.  Even Special Olympics, American Youth Soccer and Pop Warner football are named.

This bill, named the “Youth Equality Act,” threatens these wholesome kid-focused nonprofit organizations with being taxed and stripped of current tax exemptions if they do not embrace the state’s policies on sexual orientation and gender identity. The bill requires the state’s policies be incorporated  into the organizations’ hiring, practices, membership, objectives and activities — the very definition of statism.

What happened to the freedom to choose?

Hatred of Boy Scouts hits a new high

Last year, the California Assembly refused to commemorate the 102nd anniversary of the Boy Scouts by rejecting a bill by Assemblyman Mike Morell, R-Rancho Cucamonga.

This year, Sen. Lara has taken the left’s hatred of the Boy Scouts to a higher level of government punishment.

ricardo_lara-15976“They [Boy Scouts] are out of line with the values of California and should be ineligible for a tax benefit paid for by all Californians,” Lara said when he introduced SB 323 in the Senate. “SB 323 brings our laws into line with our values.”

But Lara wasn’t talking to the people of California when he made that statement; he was addressing his liberal colleagues in the Senate.

This way of thinking by the far left supposes that any and all tax benefits a person or group receives in California are “paid for by all Californians.” This requires the belief that what we earn is not ours in the first place, and instead belongs to everyone.

Lara’s “values” are not the same as most taxpaying California residents — his bio lists his previous jobs as “community activist,” “political aid” and “longtime Assembly staffer.” Prior to running for Assembly, Lara was  appointed by Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa to the powerful Los Angeles Planning Commission. Lara worked for Assemblyman Marco Firebaugh, Assembly Speaker Fabian Nunez and  Sen. Kevin De Leon before finally mounting his own run for Assembly.

Boy Scouts’ huge concession isn’t enough

The Boy Scouts of America’s National Council recently modified its longstanding policy to now allow Scouts to be of any “sexual orientation or preference.” Whether you agree with the decision or not, in doing so, the century-old Boy Scouts gave up its freedom to practice the values the organization was built on. It was these leadership values which helped shape millions of boys — all of whom voluntarily joined.

With its new guidelines allowing homosexual-identifying youths to become members, the Boy Scouts’ policy still prohibits openly homosexual adults from serving as leaders, a policy created at the behest of parents several decades ago.

For decades, the Scouts fought the membership policy change. With support from millions of parents across the country who just wanted their kids to be able to participate in an organization that hadn’t been politicized, and had remained true to its historical mission, the thought of activists and politicians infiltrating and taking advantage of a few abusive leadership positions infuriated most families involved in scouting.

Same-sex schools and other institutions imperiled

There is also criticism of the bill because the language leaves open the meaning of gender identity.

“An expansive definition of gender identity could have unintended (or possibly intended) consequences on nonprofit schools and institutions that have traditionally been all-boys or all-girls,” the bill analysis said.

AllianceLogoThe Alliance Defending Freedom is fighting SB 323 and sent a letter to the Legislature explaining that if the bill is passed, many nonprofit youth organizations will be forced “to choose between following their core values and beliefs and losing their tax exemptions or abandoning their beliefs to comply with the law.”

“Freedom of association would prove an empty guarantee if associations could not limit control over their decisions to those who share the interests and persuasions that underlie the association’s being,” the Alliance Defending Freedom letter said. “The First Amendment protects the freedom of youth organizations to associate with members and leaders who share their values. Our youth deserve to continue to benefit from these groups, and bills like SB 323 severely threaten their ability to do so.”

SB 323 was passed by the Senate on a thin margin in May, (27-9, with 3 abstaining) and now awaits a hearing in the Assembly Revenue and Tax Committee. The bill requires a two-thirds vote for passage.


Write a comment
  1. Steele, Ted, When only the very best will do!
    Steele, Ted, When only the very best will do! 9 July, 2013, 08:44


    When a group such as the BSA or the ultra whacky tea party gets a tax exempt status we taxpayers are basically subsidizing there free ride– do you know what the CEO of the BSA makes? I have to probhlem with it when its not partisan or discriminatory or otherwise unlawful per the social compact that we call the Constitution or the federal codes. But when they cross the line into wherever, right or left…..guess what?

    They gotta be private and pay.

    Reply this comment
    • Sheila Washborn
      Sheila Washborn 27 July, 2013, 13:57

      Are you kidding me ? Do you know how many left wing groups in this wacky State get tax – exempt
      status ?

      These organizations just want to help boys and girls lead morally pure lives – free of DISEASE !

      Lives full of joy and giving to others . And this is a CRIME ? ?

      Reply this comment
  2. Steve Mehlman
    Steve Mehlman 9 July, 2013, 09:09

    Well, gee, Katy, doesn’t it seem a shame that a group like the BSA should have to be “coerced” into following the Constitution and the Golden Rule? If they want to change their organization to the “Straight Boy Scouts of America”, that’s cool, but I’m damned if I want to subsidize them for doing it.

    Reply this comment
    • Sheila Washborn
      Sheila Washborn 27 July, 2013, 14:36

      When gays stop having promiscuous sexual relationships and clean up their porn – laded magazines ,
      then maybe there could be a discussion . Meanwhile , they are still have one- night stands and getting
      diseases all over this State . So few of them have the honesty to talk about that .

      Human beings have souls and spirits and spiritual lives . Life should be about love – NOT lust .

      Reply this comment
  3. K Loomis
    K Loomis 9 July, 2013, 10:55

    You write so glowingly of the BSA, but conveniently forget to mention that the organization’s insane homophobia led them to actually promote pedophilia by hiding records and ignoring charges against rapist members for decades. These people are no better than the Catholic Church.

    Reply this comment
    • Sheila Washborn
      Sheila Washborn 27 July, 2013, 13:59

      Who committed the ‘ pedophilia ‘? They were almost ALL homosexual men – you hypocrite !

      That’s why the Scouts have been so careful with whom they allow to be Scout masters . We are people

      with souls and Spirits – created to love God and help others – not use others for our own selfish

      purposes .

      Reply this comment
  4. Left of Rio Linda
    Left of Rio Linda 9 July, 2013, 11:13

    To best understand the 3 contributions above, watch this movie. It explains a lot.

    Reply this comment
  5. Queeg
    Queeg 9 July, 2013, 12:20

    Bagdad Steve big on taking away personal freedoms…what twists government minds to pick on little boy scouts just trying to be good little citizens.

    Reply this comment
  6. Queeg
    Queeg 9 July, 2013, 12:23

    Hey….your way over the line even for CWD….insulting churches and little boy scouts…hmmm. your post should be expunged.

    Reply this comment
    D SPARKS 9 July, 2013, 12:23

    Judging by the above comments, I would venture none of you have a problem with the tax exempt status of Planned Parenthood, NOW, or even NAMBLA?

    Reply this comment
  8. Queeg
    Queeg 9 July, 2013, 12:25

    The Cathollic Church does more good than any government. Stop the bashing….totally wrong.

    Reply this comment
  9. Rex the Wonderdog!
    Rex the Wonderdog! 9 July, 2013, 12:36

    Steele, Ted, When only the very best will do!

    Katy- When a group such as the BSA or the ultra whacky tea party gets a tax exempt status we taxpayers are basically subsidizing there free ride…..

    Teddy we subsidize YOUR free ride (and it is THEIR, not there you progressive surrender monkey) 😉

    Reply this comment
  10. Queeg
    Queeg 9 July, 2013, 13:08

    Poodle constipated?

    Reply this comment
  11. Steele, Ted, When only the very best will do!
    Steele, Ted, When only the very best will do! 9 July, 2013, 13:37

    LOL— As always— I live in Rex the Poodles tiny, dusty, dim, limited, slow, sleepy skull…..Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz


    Reply this comment
  12. Rex the Wonderdog!
    Rex the Wonderdog! 9 July, 2013, 22:37

    Now Teddy, theretheir there … 🙂

    Reply this comment
  13. The Africanized Swarm of Ted Steele System
    The Africanized Swarm of Ted Steele System 10 July, 2013, 06:43

    Exhibit one– I live in his head– post #12 above!

    hurry –post now!!!

    Reply this comment
  14. 10 July, 2013, 09:05

    Want some comic relief…watch the toothless GOP rant and rave about how bad this bill is, then watch the Democrats shove it down their throats. Voters who don’t like such policies should hold the feckless, lazy GOP accountable for bills like these. They have abrogated their leadership in favor of comfortable legislative districts and big paychecks.

    Reply this comment
  15. Pacific Justice Institute
    Pacific Justice Institute 10 July, 2013, 11:01

    Pacific Justice Institute ( has been leading the fight against SB 323. We have set up a website to learn more about this discriminatory bill:

    Reply this comment

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