California One Step Closer to Ending Discrimination-Youth Equality Act Passes Senate Committee

April 10, 2013

California One Step Closer to Ending Discrimination-Youth Equality Act Passes Senate Committee

SACRAMENTO-The Youth Equality Act (SB 323), designed to bring youth group tax exemptions in line with California’s existing non-discrimination laws, has passed the State Senate Governance and Finance Committee with a vote of 5-2. The bill, authored by Senator Ricardo Lara and sponsored by Equality California, has continued to gain momentum, adding 19 official co-authors and official support from the California National Organization for Women, the Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Center, the City of West Hollywood and American Civil Liberties Union.

 “Today’s vote puts California one step closer in bringing full equality to LGBT youth throughout the state,” said Senator Lara. “With its passage and growing list of supporters and co-authors, we will end this outdated practice of discrimination and exclusion.”

"The leadership of the Senate Governance and Finance Committee is exemplary and the broad support for this bill is further evidence that California does not tolerate discrimination," said John O’Connor, EQCA executive director. “We’re thrilled to see even more legislators and organizations embracing a vision of full equality for youth groups and, in doing so, sending a message to the Boy Scouts and others that discrimination has a real cost."

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 Senate Committee on Appropriations.

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Equality California (EQCA) is the largest statewide lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender advocacy organization in California. Over the past decade, Equality California has strategically moved California from a state with extremely limited legal protections for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people to a state with some of the most comprehensive human rights protections in the nation. Equality California has partnered with legislators to successfully sponsor more than 90 pieces of pro-equality legislation. EQCA continues to advance equality through legislative advocacy, electoral work, public education and community empowerment.

CONTACT: Steve Roth, OutThink Partners, 323-936-1831,
Lizette Mata, Senator Lara’s Office, 916-651-4033,