Bill aimed at Scouts' gay ban passes vote

SAN FRANCISCO - Legislation aimed at pressuring the Boy Scouts of America to lift its ban on gay members by stripping the organization of tax breaks in California has cleared its first vote.

The Senate Governance and Finance Committee voted 5 to 2 Wednesday to refer the first-of-its-kind bill on to another committee for its review.

The Youth Equality Act would deny tax-exempt status to nonprofit youth groups that discriminate on the basis of gender identity, race, sexual orientation, nationality, religion or religious affiliation.

That means those groups would have to pay corporate taxes on donations, membership dues, camp fees and other sources of income, as well as sales taxes on food, beverages and homemade items sold at fundraisers.

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