Wednesday, April 10, 2013

SB323 - Youth Equality Act

SB323, titled the "Youth Equality Act" is an affront to private non-profit organizations. Authored by Senator Ricardo Lara, and sponsored by Equality California, this document ( indicates Equality California is clearly discriminating against not only the Boy Scouts of America, but against anyone who is not part of the LGBT community.

The message being sent is a simple one: While the LGBT community preaches tolerance, they are only seeking tolerance of other groups toward their lifestyle. By sponsoring SB323 they are forcing EVERYONE to be tolerant of the LGBT community, but they are not, in turn, being tolerant of the straight community, or the religious community. As a matter of fact, I could  locate verbiage on the Equality California website that indicates they are only fighting for the rights of the LGBT community, however there is no mention of the rights for straight people at all. That sounds like discrimination to me, discrimination against the straight community.

Even though the bill has been labeled "A bill aimed at pressuring the Boy Scouts of America to lift its ban on gay members" by the Dallas News, and takes aim at removing their non-profit status, it is important that every non-profit organization in California take note of the wording found in this bill.

An excerpt from the bill requires that:
(C) The organization does not discriminate on the basis gender identity, race, sex, sexual orientation, nationality, religion, or religious affiliation.
Based on this wording, SB323 is actually going to allow the state to exclude from non-profit status:
  • Any religious group (the Catholic church is one of the largest providers of free health care in the nation); 
  • Fraternities, sororities, the Girl Scouts, Boys only and Girls only private schools and universities (all gender based);
  • Any organization targeting specific races or nationalities including the ACLU ("The ACLU also works to extend rights to segments of our population that have traditionally been denied their rights, including people of color; women; lesbians, gay men, bisexuals and transgender people; prisoners; and people with disabilities" - excerpt from their website which is discriminatory against Caucasian heterosexual males)
  • And in the course of the bill, will also serve to remove the non-profit status from the LGBT groups (as they target furthering the rights of only the LGBT community and excluding the straight community, which again is discrimination), such as the one sponsoring the bill, Equality California. 
So while the LGBT community and Senator Lara are attempting to provide for youth advocacy, they are actually going to reduce the resources available to youth in California by limiting the tax breaks that existing organizations already receive while attempting to provide for today's youth. It seems to me a better solution would be to start another youth organization that is more ideal for those people who feel that the Boy Scouts does not meet their needs or is too restrictive an environment for some youth/leaders who wish to be active in such a community.

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