Calif. tax bill seeks to punish Scouts for gay ban

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — California lawmakers are considering taking some tax exemptions away from youth groups that do not accept gay, transgender or atheist members — a move intended to pressure the Boy Scouts of America to lift its ban on gay Scouts and troop leaders.

Some cities have withdrawn free rent and other subsidies from the Boy Scouts over the years, but legislation introduced by state Sen. Ricardo Lara would make California the first state to target the Scouts for its anti-gay policy.

The Long Beach Democrat’s bill, SB 323, is scheduled for its first committee hearing today.

The Boy Scouts of America reaffirmed the Texas-based organization’s ban on openly gay members last summer then announced in January that it was revisiting the decision.

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