SACRAMENTO, Calif. (WordNews.org) April 11, 2013 – A California legislative committee has approved a bill that opponents say would “break new ground in using the tax system to punish those who are disliked by LGBT [lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, transgender] activists.”
California Senate Bill 323 passed along party lines out of the Governance and Finance Committee. Capitol Resource Institute says the bill would remove certain state tax exemptions for public charity youth organizations that discriminate on the basis of gender identity, race, sexual orientation, nationality, religion or religious affiliation.
“SB 323 requires that youth sports leagues allow children of any gender to participate on any team,” said Karen England, Capitol Resource Institute’s executive director. “But the state intends to reach beyond the playing field and into locker rooms, showers and bathrooms also. This bill’s prohibition on gender identity discrimination means that a boy claiming gender confusion is permitted to share those facilities with girls. Any attempt at segregation risks a fine in the form of taxes.”
CRI said at the committee hearing, supporters of the bill were angry that California’s various pronouncements about sexuality are not being observed by certain youth organizations.
“They seem to believe that the Legislature’s labeling of so many things as discrimination should settle the issue,” said England. “Of course they are wrong on the law and they have misjudged public opinion.”
In the case of Boy Scouts of America, et al. v. Dale the United States Supreme Court determined that the First Amendment right of “expressive association” trumped the laws of a state dealing with this same type of discrimination, CRI said. The Boy Scouts were allowed to deny an openly homosexual man a leadership position in a local Scout troop even though the laws of the state declared such a denial to be impermissible discrimination.
“The public seems to agree with the Supreme Court,” England said. “If a mother says she wants to choose the role models for her 12 year-old when sending him to a voluntary club, most of us do not equate her with the racist bent on bringing back segregation. We get it that tolerance is a two way street. And we are a little unnerved by the idea that those who currently hold political power in our state might now use that power to bankrupt any organization that does not agree with them.”