Equality California
Equality California Rejects Scouts' Failure to Embrace Full Equality
May 23, 2013

CONTACT: Jesse Melgar
PHONE: 323.848.9801 EMAIL: jesse@eqca.org

Equality California Rejects Scouts' Failure to Embrace Full Equality

(Los Angeles) The Boy Scouts of America have voted to allow openly gay youth to remain Boy Scouts, while continuing to exclude lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people from leadership. This means Scouts who have dedicated years to their troops will still be kicked out when they turn 18. The Boy Scouts of America remain the largest youth group to discriminate against LGBT people.

“While they took an important first step today, the failure of the Boy Scouts of America to move fully into the 21st Century proves the necessity of the Youth Equality Act, showing organizations like the BSA that any form of discrimination has a real cost,” said John O’Connor, EQCA executive director.

Written by Sen. Ricardo Lara, the Youth Equality Act (SB 323) illuminates the exclusionary policies that youth face from organizations in California. The Youth Equality Act would bring the state sales tax exemption that the Boy Scouts and others receive into line with the rest of California’s anti-discrimination policies by eliminating the exemption for any youth group that discriminates against LGBT people.

“The BSA had an opportunity for bravery and failed; the people of California have an opportunity for bravery with the Youth Equality Act, and we can succeed,” said O’Connor.

Equality California (EQCA) is the largest statewide lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender rights advocacy organization in California. Over the past decade, Equality California has strategically moved California from a state with extremely limited legal protections for LGBT individuals to a state with some of the most comprehensive civil rights protections in the nation. Equality California has passed more than 90 pieces of legislation and continues to advance equality through legislative advocacy, electoral work, public education and community empowerment. www.eqca.org