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Take Action: Tell the CA Legislature: "End Tax Exempt Status for Anti-Gay Boy Scouts of America"

Society & Culture  (tags: children, culture, ethics, freedoms, gayrights, government, law, rights, politics, sadness, safety, society, usa )

- 1881 days ago -
"Support State Senator Ricardo Lara's Senate Bill 323, stripping tax exempt status from youth groups which ban LGBT members. Groups like the Boy Scouts of America shouldn't enjoy tax exempt status while practicing discrimination."

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JL A (281)
Monday February 25, 2013, 9:52 am
Calif. Boy Scouts' Tax-Exempt Status Threatened by New Bill, Petition

boy scouts
(Photo: REUTERS/Fred Prouser)
The Cushman Watt Scout Center, headquarters of the Boy Scouts of America for the Los Angeles Area Council, is pictured in Los Angeles, California October 18, 2012.

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By Michael Gryboski , Christian Post Reporter
February 22, 2013|4:24 pm
A California-based progressive organization has launched an online petition effort in support of a bill that would strip the California chapter of the Boy Scouts of America of their tax exempt status.

Eddie Kurtz, campaigns director with the Courage Campaign, posted a petition at that calls for the California Legislature to approve Senate Bill 323. As of Friday, the petition has 9,200 signatures.

"Please ask the California Legislature to help pass SB 323. California should lead on this issue if Congress won't," reads the "petition background" section of the online effort. "Ending this tax break is the right thing to do, for the Boy Scouts and any other youth group in California which discriminates against members based on sexual orientation."

Kurtz, himself a former Boy Scout who got as high as the rank of "Life Scout," told The Christian Post that he started the petition because he has "always been troubled by BSA's position." "Discrimination is not in the public good, and California should not support it through a taxpayer subsidy," said Kurtz.

"This bill has no effect on an organization's ability to decide who can and cannot be a member. It simply says that an organization which chooses to exclude LGBT people cannot benefit from a special tax status."

Introduced by State Senator Ricardo Lara on Wednesday, SB 323 adds "gender identity" and "sexual orientation" to the list of groups that a youth organization cannot discriminate against when determining membership.

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"Notwithstanding any other law, an organization organized and operated exclusively as a public charity youth organization that discriminates on the basis of gender identity, race, sexual orientation, nationality, religion, or religious affiliation shall not be exempt from taxes imposed by this part," reads SB 323's amendment to the current state tax code.

In order to succeed, SB 323 will require two-thirds majority vote from the California Legislature given that it involves changes to the state tax law. Kurtz of the Courage Campaign told CP that he was confident that the bill would pass.

"And in order to make sure that happens, organizations like Courage Campaign will need to mobilize the vast majority of Californians who don't want their tax dollars going to support bigotry, and make sure their representatives in Sacramento understand," said Kurtz.

The petition and proposed bill come as the Boy Scouts have garnered pressure from liberals and conservatives over their announcement earlier this year that they would reconsider their national ban on openly gay members and leaders.

The Family Research Council recently released an "action alert" telling supporters to encourage the BSA to stand strong against pressure from "corporate elites and homosexual activists." Their "Stand with the Boy Scouts" petition against removing the national ban on openly gay members has garnered over 22,000 signees.

The Golden Empire Council of the Boy Scouts of America, which is the California chapter of the BSA, did not return comment to The Christian Post by press time.

Esther Z (94)
Monday February 25, 2013, 11:05 am
Noted and signed. Thanks, J.L.A.

JL A (281)
Monday February 25, 2013, 11:07 am
You are welcome Esther. You cannot currently send a star to Esther because you have done so within the last week.

Edwin M (346)
Monday February 25, 2013, 12:12 pm
Signed thanks JL

JL A (281)
Monday February 25, 2013, 12:17 pm
You cannot currently send a star to Edwin because you have done so within the last week.

Sara Williams (8)
Monday February 25, 2013, 3:01 pm
Gladly signed.

Angelika R (143)
Monday February 25, 2013, 3:59 pm
already signed earlier, noted. thx!

Carrie B (306)
Monday February 25, 2013, 4:05 pm
Signed and noted.

Joe R (190)
Monday February 25, 2013, 4:31 pm
Thanks JL. Signed and noted.

JL A (281)
Monday February 25, 2013, 4:55 pm
You cannot currently send a star to Sara because you have done so within the last week.
You cannot currently send a star to Angelika because you have done so within the last week.
You cannot currently send a star to Carrie because you have done so within the last week.
You cannot currently send a star to Joe because you have done so within the last week.

JL A (281)
Monday February 25, 2013, 5:07 pm
You are welcome Terry! You cannot currently send a star to Terry because you have done so within the last week.

Mitchell D (104)
Monday February 25, 2013, 6:29 pm
S and N, thanks.

JL A (281)
Monday February 25, 2013, 6:47 pm
You are welcome Mitchell. You cannot currently send a star to Mitchell because you have done so within the last week.

Autumn S (151)
Monday February 25, 2013, 9:57 pm
signed and noted

John B (185)
Monday February 25, 2013, 10:07 pm
Thanks J.L. for the post and the link to the petition. Kudos to Mr. Kurtz for starting the petition and to State Senator Ricardo Lara for introducing SB 323. I look forward to seeing the Bill passed and other states following suit. Read, signed and noted.
"Thanks for signing!"

JL A (281)
Monday February 25, 2013, 10:33 pm
You cannot currently send a star to Autumn because you have done so within the last week.
You are welcome John. I like your vision for the future. You cannot currently send a star to John because you have done so within the last week.

Lynn Squance (235)
Monday February 25, 2013, 11:11 pm
There is no room for bigotry and discrimination in today's world and the Boy Scouts and other youth groups stand on admitting gays is just plain bigotry and discrimination. As such, they should lose their tax exempt status as their stance goes against human rights.


Giana Peranio-paz (398)
Monday February 25, 2013, 11:38 pm
Noted and signed. This discrimination must stop, especially when we are dealing with educating young children. What could come of teaching these kids this hate? What will they grow up to become?

SuSanne P (193)
Tuesday February 26, 2013, 11:15 am
Thank you JL. Lynn, too soon to give you a star.
Thanks for signing! Now, pass it on.


JL A (281)
Tuesday February 26, 2013, 12:30 pm
You are welcome SuSanne.
You cannot currently send a star to Giana because you have done so within the last week.
You cannot currently send a star to SuSanne because you have done so within the last week.

Natalie V (27)
Tuesday February 26, 2013, 3:19 pm
noted / signed

JL A (281)
Tuesday February 26, 2013, 3:40 pm
You cannot currently send a star to Natalie because you have done so within the last week

Thomas P (280)
Tuesday February 26, 2013, 4:11 pm
Noted and signed...thanks J.L.

Henriette Matthijssen (154)
Tuesday February 26, 2013, 4:27 pm
I signed, Thanks for posting J.L.

Christopher M. (4)
Tuesday February 26, 2013, 4:43 pm
It is a religious organization, end of story. You obey the rules or get out. Would you make a Muslim drink booze? Or a Jew eat swine?

Christopher M. (4)
Tuesday February 26, 2013, 4:48 pm
Here is the logic

GOOD Christians and Jews found BSA groups
GOOD Christians and Jews neither have sex within their gender nor would allow those who do to form close relationships, in other words, join the group
ERGO there are no practicing homosexuals, or adulterers, or fornicators for that matter in those faith based groups

Do what you like. Just don't have the nerve to ask opposed religionists to accept what you do, or accept you closely if you do.

Christopher M. (4)
Tuesday February 26, 2013, 4:50 pm
Start your own fracking outdoor club and set your own rules.

Christopher M. (4)
Tuesday February 26, 2013, 4:53 pm
When you take away the group's right to enforce its religious rules and expel its deviants, you are fundamentally changing the religion. We will not stand to be told what to do by a bunch of people who want to tear Jesus down.

JL A (281)
Tuesday February 26, 2013, 4:54 pm
Legally it is not a religious organization and has never claimed that it government filings and thus must follow the law and apparently is not complying with the statutes for its non-religious non-profit status for tax exemptions.

pam w (139)
Tuesday February 26, 2013, 8:01 pm
Happily signed.Christopher...I usually ignore you but THIS is ridiculous...DID YOU NOT READ THIS PETITION?

It says no government money for a group which discriminates.

Why should tax dollars support hatred?


I guess you DIDN'T read it....did you?

Yvonne Taylor (37)
Wednesday February 27, 2013, 4:30 pm
JL. A The Family Research Council is a whacko bigoted one man campaign of bigotry and misinformation with a web site, not even a religious organization, but there are "Sheeple" out their unfortunately that will listen to this whack job. Good post and personally do not think a bigoted organization deserves my tax dollars.

JL A (281)
Wednesday February 27, 2013, 4:38 pm
Thank you Yvonne for providing the background about the primary voice in opposition.

Yvonne Taylor (37)
Wednesday February 27, 2013, 4:54 pm
JL. A I get "his" (Family Research Council) newsletter just so I know what hideous thing that guy is up to next. Everyone should always listen to both sides and be informed :)

JL A (281)
Wednesday February 27, 2013, 4:57 pm
Good advice Yvonne.

Yvonne Taylor (37)
Wednesday February 27, 2013, 5:02 pm
Christopher, do you ever read? Or do you just listen to bigoted type sermons? I mean really, how misinformed areyou are about the Boy Scouts? I was Cub Scout and Weeblos leader (yes, and female because no man in the county would step up to the plate for the boys in the area, and even though it was against the rules, I WAS a Weeblos leader, doubt if in these times that would have happened though) and do know a bit about it. Ha Ha, just noticed pam w. said the same thing.

Christopher M. (4)
Wednesday February 27, 2013, 5:32 pm
You know nothing about religion. You dont negotiate with God or a god. Leave religion to those of us who have been doing it longer than you have. Judging from the Roman Empire Christianity will survive you and your apostasy.

JL A (281)
Wednesday February 27, 2013, 5:36 pm
In the Bible Jesus commanded His followers to love their neighbor as THE most important commandment: the majority of US Christians include the LGBTQ community as their neighbors.

Christopher M. (4)
Wednesday February 27, 2013, 5:36 pm
I have no quarrel to meddle with gay people, so leave our religion alone. People who would openly disobey God are not welcome as members of any religious organization, which is what the BSA is. Yeah we accept visitors without questions but it is not the same thing. Visitors can't threaten us like members behaving badly can. That is why Paul outlined a procedure to gradually expel them, disfellowship them, for bad behaviors.

JL A (281)
Wednesday February 27, 2013, 5:41 pm
Wrong: not a religious tax exempt organization per BSA themselves

Frequently Asked Questions

Is our pack or troop considered tax-exempt by the IRS?

That depends on who sponsors your pack, troop, or unit. The only time a unit can be considered “tax-exempt” is if its sponsoring organization is also tax-exempt.

The BSA National Council grants a charter to religious organizations, service clubs, businesses, and others who want to sponsor a Scout unit. A unit is actually “owned” by its chartered organization. Chartered organizations vary widely in tax status, but the tax status of your unit is the same as that of your chartering partner.

Can our pack or troop use the council's tax number for purchases?

Often confused with the 501-C-3 # there is a "Exempt Organization Purchase Certificate" for NYS sales tax. Units can use this form so they don't have to pay taxes on purchases. New York State and local Tax use form ST-119.1
This document can be obtained at the Scout office.

Can our pack or troop be covered under the BSA’s group exemption?

No. The IRS only allows local councils (and council trust funds) to be included under the BSA group exemption. Packs, troops, and other Scout units cannot be included under the BSA group exemption because they “belong” to their chartering organization. (Note: tax issues for Girl Scout troops are handled differently by the IRS because of how their cookie sales are structured).

Does a pack or troop need its own tax identification number? If so, where do we get it?

All units need a tax ID number (also referred to as an “EIN” – Employer Identification Number). Units should NOT use the Social Security number of an adult leader. If they do, the IRS will attribute all banking transactions, unit purchases, etc. to that leader as an individual. Units may use the tax ID number of their chartering organization, if given permission. This may be especially useful for the unit if that organization is tax-exempt.

Most units obtain their own tax ID number by completing IRS Form SS-4. The current form and instructions are available on the IRS Web site – Also, the IRS now allows you to provide the information over the phone and immediately receive a unit EIN. The IRS “tax ID hotline” is (800) 829- 4933.

IRS Form SS-4 asks us for a “GEN.” What is that – and do we have one?

The “GEN” is the Group Exemption Number for the BSA. As discussed, only councils are covered under the BSA group exemption. Units cannot use this number. However, once your unit receives an EIN, the unit may still qualify for a number of state and sales tax exemptions as a non-profit organization under your state laws. Check with your own state – this varies widely across the country.

A volunteer suggested that our unit apply for its own tax-exempt status. Can we?

Units should not incorporate or apply for their own tax-exempt status. For one thing, units are not legal entities. Even if they were, this is an expensive and time-consuming process. But units are only permitted to raise funds through approved unit money-earning projects. Units could lose their charter if they tried to get their own tax-exempt status and solicit tax deductible gifts.

We can’t solicit gifts for our unit?

No. Simply put, units are not permitted to solicit any gifts. Both the Charter and Bylaws and the Rules and Regulations of the BSA make this very clear – only local councils may solicit individuals, corporations, or foundations for gifts in support of Scouting. Units, unit leaders, and youth members may not solicit gifts in the name of Scouting or in support of unit needs and activities (except in unusual circumstances where the unit has received permission to do so from the local council). Units are also prohibited from soliciting gifts on their Websites.

Does that mean people can’t make gifts to our troop?

Units are not supposed to solicit gifts, but they can receive gifts. Anyone can contribute to a Scout pack, troop, or unit – and many donors don’t need or care about charitable deductions. Obviously, defining a “solicited gift” is not always easy. But we rely on our unit leaders to set good examples and honor the intent and spirit of these important guidelines. We know it’s hard to stop people from being generous, especially towards Scouting.

Can gifts go to the local council to benefit our unit, then “pass through” the council to us?

No – your unit “belongs” to your chartering organization, not to your local council. IRS guidelines prohibit any charity from accepting gifts that are “passed through” to a person or unrelated entity. A council could accept a gift in the name of your unit and hold it in a unit account. The unit could then “draw down” on the account for camp fees, uniform and supply needs, etc. (this is how colleges handle student scholarships). But be sure to first ask your local council if they have the staff and time to do this. This is entirely their decision.

My local company has employee volunteerism grants and they will contribute to charities where I volunteer my time. Can these gifts go to our unit?

Employee incentive awards and volunteerism grants usually can NOT go to a pack, troop, or unit, due to the company’s giving restrictions. Corporate donations often can only go to charities that are “501(c)(3) charities,” and many units are not chartered by tax exempt charities. Also, many companies won’t make gifts to religious organizations. If a unit is “tax exempt,” it’s often because it’s chartered to a church, synagogue, etc. – so they couldn’t receive corporate funds either. Of course, corporate awards and grants may go to any local council.


JL A (281)
Wednesday February 27, 2013, 5:59 pm
National Chartering Data indicate a large portion are NOT religious (and not all units are chartered) and some are NOT Christian:
Overview of Chartered Organizations

Civic, faith-based, and educational organizations operate Scouting units to deliver the programs to their youth members, as well as the community at large.
Over 100,000 Scouting units are owned and operated by chartered organizations. Of these:
70.3 percent of all units are chartered to faith-based organizations.
22.0 percent of all units are chartered to civic organizations.
7.6 percent of all units are chartered to educational organizations.
Responsibilities of chartered organizations include:
Providing adequate meeting facilities.
Providing quality leadership for the Scouting unit.
Appointing a chartered organization representative to coordinate all Scouting unit operations within the organization.
So about a third of those with charters are not legally religious organizations.

Wednesday February 27, 2013, 7:59 pm
Happy to sign and note.

It's time an organization that claims that it is charged with the molding and development of young men, the leaders of tomorrow, pull itself into the 21st. Century where it can actually do some good.

Debra Holliday (38)
Wednesday February 27, 2013, 8:06 pm
This is supposed to be a free country where every organization has the right to write its own rules to follow. If someone doesn't like it, they don't have to join, they can start their own group. It looks like all rights are being eroded! Very sad indeed!!!!!!!!!

JL A (281)
Wednesday February 27, 2013, 8:12 pm
You speak so truly of how the BSA wants to force discrimination on all the boys and troops and have the rest of us foot the bill by not paying taxes Debra. We all shouldn't be forced to subsidize their bigotry and should be free from it.

Ludger W (71)
Thursday February 28, 2013, 1:05 am

Beth M (138)
Thursday February 28, 2013, 1:42 pm

Lois Jordan (63)
Thursday February 28, 2013, 2:33 pm
Signed & noted. Much thanks, J.L.

Charlene Rush (79)
Friday March 1, 2013, 6:21 pm
The Boy Scouts of American, or any other organization has the right to make their own rules, but, not when they are tax exempt. There are rules of criterion that must be followed, in order for this exemption to be applied.
When we live in a nation, where _all people_, hopefully, have the same rights, the Boy Scouts appear to be faltering. There homophobia is childish.

Charlene Rush (79)
Friday March 1, 2013, 6:28 pm
Hey Debra Holliday: On what planet, are you living? Yes, this is a free country, but NOT FOR ALL, in the event you haven't noticed.
What if you greatly, wanted to join a group and they refused you admittance, due to your hair color. Do you think they have the right to be tax exempt?
The Boy Scouts can give up their tax exemption, and do whatever 'floats their boat'.
Sorry, but, they shouldn't be able to have it both ways.
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