There's a new bill pending in the California legislature that directly targets religious freedom for Christians and Jews.
It's SB 323, which passed the California Senate and sailed through Assembly committees to a floor vote, possibly this week.
The bill targets the tax exempt status of groups like the Boy Scouts, Little League, Future Farmers of America and 19 other organizations if they discriminate in any way based on gender identity, sexual orientation, nationality, race, religion or religious affiliation.
The measure is also aimed tax-exempt status for public and private schools found to sponsor any of these 'discriminatory' youth groups..including exemption status held by a religious school or church.
“Traditional values regarding heterosexuality are being branded as the legal equivalent of racism, and so there’s the quite genuine fear that the tax code really is the battleground against the traditional churches,” said Alan Reinach, executive director of Church State Council, which opposes SB 323.
“It’s not about ‘live and let live.’ If the churches do not conform to the values of homosexuality, then we will lose our standing in society,” he said. [...}
They say SB 323 discriminates against organizations that have faith-based convictions and forces them to adopt the government’s viewpoint on sexual orientation and gender identity in their hiring, practices, membership, objectives or activities.
Many youth groups do not even hold their own tax-exempt status, but operate under the exemption of their church conference, said Mr. Reinach, whose public policy organization focuses on religious-freedom issues.
So if a youth group is found to be discriminatory, “what are you going to do — revoke the tax exemption for two dozen schools and 150 churches or at least all of their youth groups?” he asked.
Interestingly enough, only churches, synagogues and groups affiliated with them are n=being mentioned. Not a word is being said about the Nation of Islam, which is avowedly anti-homosexuality or Muslim mosques or groups,which hold similar views based on the Qu'ran.
Other groups named in the bill are Bobby Sox, Little League, Campfire Inc., 4-H Clubs, Future Farmers of America, Future Homemakers of America, Boys’ Clubs, Girls’ Clubs, Pop Warner football and AYSO as well as several other soccer organizations.
Brian McClintock, a spokesman for the Little League, said his group already has policies not to discriminate on the “basis of race, creed, color, national origin, marital status, gender, sexual orientation or disability.” And two people associated with Future Farmers of America said they couldn’t imagine why their organization was named in the bill.
Perhaps I can answer their question.
Homosexuals have become a new 'protected group' for democrats and a major fundraising target, as no less then Rahm Emmanuel himself recently let us know. They normally tend to have decent incomes and usually have no expenses or time constraints associated with child rearing and thus have ample disposable income and leisure time that can be tapped politically.
Additionally, since California enacted de facto legal same sex marriage even though a measure passed by a majority of the state's voters amended the state's constitution to prevent that, this is seen as just another political payoff to the very powerful and well funded homosexual lobby.
We will see a time soon in California when a church is going to be sued for not hiring a gay clergyman, and will lose its tax exempt status as a result.
As Mr. Reinach presciently observed, the end game is to eliminate a huge source of tax exempt giving and to destroy the standing in society of churches and synagogues...at least those that refuse to leave their religious principles behind and go along to get along.
First Amendment...wha? Who?