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Activist Groups Urge Obama to Reject Boy Scout Honor

From Fox News:

Activist groups, including Scouting for All, urge President Obama not to accept the honorary Presidency of the Boy Scouts of America until they stop discriminating.

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APRIL 14, 2005

Contact: Eddie Gutiérrez, Director of Communications
Phone: (323) 217-8875 Email:


Sacramento, CA - The Civil Rights Act of 2005 (Assembly Bill 1400), by Assemblymember John Laird (D-Santa Cruz), passed the California Assembly with a vote of 44-29. Equality California-sponsored AB 1400 amends the Unruh Civil Rights Act (Unruh Act) and related provisions to clarify that people are protected from discrimination regardless of their sexual orientation, gender identity, or marital status. The bill now moves to
the state Senate. "The Unruh Act is the centerpiece of California's non-discrimination protections in public accommodations-this is a significant change to a significant law," said Assemblymember Laird. "Today's vote marks a key step toward reducing unnecessary litigation and clarifying the law for both businesses and customers. The Senate now has an opportunity to move this legislation forward to make it clear that the Unruh Act covers people in these specific protected classes."

"Today the California Assembly made an important decision to support business practices and conduct that are free of prejudice and homophobia for all Californians," said Executive Director Geoffrey Kors of Equality California. "We are grateful to Mr. Laird and the co-authors of AB 1400 for working to eliminate discrimination."

The Unruh Act applies to all business establishments that provide services, goods or accommodations to the public. Businesses subject to the Unruh Act include, but are not limited to, shopping centers, mobile home parks, bars and restaurants, schools, medical and dental offices, hotels and motels, and condominium homeowners associations. The Unruh Act explicitly prohibits discrimination based on sex, race, color, religion,
ancestry, national origin, disability or medical condition. Courts have held that the categories listed in the law are merely examples and that the Unruh Act should be interpreted broadly to prohibit arbitrary discrimination including discrimination based on personal characteristics, geographical origin, physical attributes and individual beliefs.

AB 1400 builds on the efforts by Assemblymember Laird to ensure that California's nondiscrimination laws are as inclusive as possible. Last year, he authored Equality California-sponsored AB 2900, which amended
labor- and employment-related nondiscrimination laws to ensure that they included the list of protected classes contained in the Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA). Governor Schwarzenegger signed AB 2900 into law.

Founded in 1998, Equality California is a nonprofit, nonpartisan, grassroots-based, statewide advocacy organization whose mission is to ensure the dignity, safety, equality and civil rights of all lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) Californians. Equality California is one of the largest and fastest growing statewide LGBT organizations in the country. We can be contacted through our website at .




Scouting For All is not an alternative scouting program.
We are an education and advocacy organization reaching out to gay and nontheist youth and adults in our effort to get the Boy Scouts of America to rescind its exlusionary policy.

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