Free Speech

CA Lawmakers May Strip Boy Scouts of Tax Status Over Gay Ban

First Amendment, anybody?

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SACRAMENTO — Some California lawmakers seeking to pressure the Boy Scouts of America to abandon its ban on openly gay members are taking a novel approach: They are threatening to strip the organization of its state tax exemption.

The proposal, which cleared a legislative hurdle Wednesday, once again puts California at the center of a national debate on gay rights, and it could put the state on a collision course with the IRS if passed. The legislation would revoke the exemption from state taxes for any nonprofit that excludes members by sexual orientation, gender identity or religious affiliation.