The California Boy Scouts of America are feeling the pressure and influence of state government. First, SB 131, if signed into law, will provide California survivors of sexual abuse while in the Boy Scouts an opportunity to seek justice in court. Second, according to the Sacramento Bee, “SB 323 would deny state tax breaks to youth groups that discriminate on the basis of gender identity, race, sexual orientation, nationality, religion or religious affiliation. It passed the Senate with a 27-9 vote, with the minimum two-thirds majority needed to alter the state’s tax policy.” In the latter, the Boy Scouts in California have mounted a strong opposition to the anti-discrimination bill.
While I have written in previous posts that the gay issue in the Boy Scouts is unrelated to the sexual abuse of minors, the Boy Scouts are feeling the mounting pressure of public opinion on both counts. The California legislation (SB 131) that would allow survivors in California to pursue civil claims against the Boy Scouts of America is a clear sign that public perception in the Golden State is turning in favor of survivor rights and institutional accountability.