Thursday, May 30, 2013

CA Senate votes 27-9 to strip Boy Scouts of tax exemption over antigay bias: 'Not on our watch, not on California's dime'

The bill, introduced by openly gay state senator Ricardo Lara (D-Bell Gardens) is called the Youth Equality Act and has become the first LGBT rights bill in the history of the state to pass with a two-thirds majority.
     Towleroad quotes Karen Ocamb at Frontiers: Lara opened his roughly six and a half minute speech on the Senate floor with the Boy Scout pledge and then noted that neither the Girl Scouts, nor the 4-H clubs, nor the Boys & Girls of America nor the YMCA discriminate against gay kids, making them eligible for tax exemption.
     Apart from various tax exemptions, the BSA also holds a Congressional Charter entitling it to privileges other youth organizations do not enjoy; privileges which should probably be reexamined. From Wikipedia:
     The BSA holds a Congressional charter under Title 36 of the United States Code, which means that it is one of the comparatively rare "Title 36" corporations in the United States.  The 1916 statute of incorporation established this institution amongst a small number of other patriotic and national organizations which are similarly chartered, such as the Girl Scouts of the USA, the American Legion, the Red Cross, Little League Baseball, and the National Academy of Sciences. The federal incorporation was originally construed primarily as an honor, however it does grant the chartered organization some special privileges and rights, including freedom from antitrust and monopoly regulation, and complete control over the organization's symbols and insignia. As example, outside of the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts, no other youth organizations may use the term "scouts" or "scouting" in their name. The special recognition neither implies nor accords Congress any special control over the BSA, which remains free to function independently.
     Paul Sleman, Colin H. Livingstone, Ernest S. Martin and James E. West successfully lobbied Congress for a federal charter for the BSA–partly as a way to deal with competition from the Lone Scouts of America, which President Woodrow Wilson signed on June 15, 1916. It reads:
That the purpose of this corporation shall be to promote, through organization and cooperation with other agencies, the ability of boys to do things for themselves and others, to train them in Scoutcraft, and to teach them patriotism, courage, self-reliance, and kindred virtues, using the methods which are now in common use by Boy Scouts.

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