The state of California already has laws banning discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in housing, jobs, schools and education. But there’s a loophole that still allows youth organizations that discriminate against LGBT people — like the Boy Scouts — to get a tax exemption for working in the public interest.
Senate Bill 323 will ensure that non-profit youth groups that receive state tax privileges comply with existing California anti-discrimination laws.
We know that discrimination isn’t in the public interest. We know that being excluded has real costs for LGBT youth, and that the values that organizations like the Boy Scouts teach — good citizenship, character and teamwork — are just as important for our youth.
So why should we give organizations that don’t reflect the state's values a special exemption? Why should they get special rights?
Unfortunately, because this is a bill related to taxes, we need a two-thirds majority in the California legislature to pass it. Which means that we need every legislator to know that California won’t reward excluding LGBT people. Please take a moment to contact your legislator, either using the letter below or by writing one of your own.
The message below is the one you will send to the California legislature. Feel free to write your own or add your story or personal experience.