Full Equality and Nothing Less in Scouting

May 20, 2013 By John O'Connor

This week the Boy Scouts of America are set to vote on a resolution to allow gay youth to participate in scouting, while still barring LGBT adults from positions of leadership. While we are encouraged at the willingness to change the proposed policy, it is still alarmingly inadequate and it sends the message to both gay and straight youth that discrimination is okay.

We stand for full equality and nothing less.

That is why we are sponsoring Sen. Ricardo Lara’s Youth Equality Act (SB 323), which ends tax subsidies for any youth group, including the BSA, that excludes LGBT people — it demonstrates that discrimination has a real cost.

We won’t achieve full equality without bold, tangible action, and with the Youth Equality Act, California has an opportunity to lead the country in protecting our youth and ensuring that your money and mine doesn’t go to organizations that discriminate against us.

We’re grateful for the extraordinary work our allied organizations have done on the national level urging the BSA to come into the 21st Century, and we’re excited to focus on the Youth Equality Act here in California.

This isn’t just about the BSA — it’s about making sure that our youth can grow up free from the toxic prejudices of the past, no matter what youth group they join. Make no mistake; Equality California’s efforts will not stop until discrimination is eliminated among California groups receiving tax exemptions. This is about making California a state of full equality.

We can’t do this alone — we need you to act now. Watch our video of Eric Andresen, father to Ryan Andresen, the scout denied his Eagle honors for being gay, and make a contribution now to support the Youth Equality Act.

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