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SB 323: Senator Lara’s ‘Youth Equality Act’ Clears Two Hurdles in Sacramento

REVISED

By Brian Hews

SACRAMENTO- A proposed law by California State Senator Ricardo Lara that would bring tax exemptions in line with California’s existing non-discrimination laws, has passed both the Assembly Tax and Revenue and Judiciary Committees this week, advancing this historic bill to the Assembly Appropriations Committee.

According to Lara media spokesperson Lizette Mata, Senate Bill 323 is designed to target non-profit groups who “have a history of out of line discriminatory practices against Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender youth.”

Lara held a press conference in Sacramento on Tuesday to update members of the media about the progress of his proposed law that would dramatically affect the tax exempts status for non-profit groups who discriminate against LGBT youth.

“Today, the Youth Equality passed out of its last policy committee but our work is far from over. We are going to need to work very hard to ensure that members in the Assembly understand the importance of this bill,” stated Lara.

Lara represents a wide section of Southeast Los Angeles County and Long Beach in the State Senate.
“With their support, California will remain a leader for LGBT rights and equality,” Lara said. During the press conference Lara spoke emotionally about his experiences and challenges of “growing up gay in a Latino community.

“This bill will guarantee that all LGBT youth here in California will be able to participate in all groups throughout this entire great State,” Lara told reporters.

History of the Boy Scouts of America

History of the Boy Scouts of America (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“This bill is near and dear to my heart; Equality California passed the Assembly Tax and Revenue Committee with a vote of 6-3, and the Judiciary by a vote of 6-3. In June, the Youth Equality Act received a two-thirds vote in the Senate – the first time an LGBT bill received a two-thirds vote in the state’s history.

“California does not tolerate discrimination and we certainly shouldn’t pay for it,” said John O’Connor, Executive Director of Equality California. “Organizations that discriminate against a young person or leader because of who they are or who they love should be sent a clear message – discrimination has a real cost!”

Lara also stressed that “the Youth Equality Act will eliminate a sales and corporate tax exemption for youth groups that discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity, or religious affiliation.”

The bill now moves on to the Assembly Committee on Appropriations.

Above is the Press Conference via You Tube.

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