Under Pressure, Lawmaker Amends Bill Forcing Charities to Disclose Employees’ Sexual Orientation

Sacramento, CA – Following public outcry and opposition from pro-family organizations to AB 624, its author has deleted some of its most controversial provisions.

Earlier this month, PJI reported that AB 624 would require large charities to disclose and post on their websites the race, gender and sexual orientations of their board members and staff. The bill had already passed the California State Assembly and was headed to the State Senate. After PJI and its allies spotlighted the bill, and PJI sent a letter to the author officially opposing it, major amendments to the bill were made.

As amended, AB 624 still requires that data be collected and posted on race and gender, but not on sexual orientation. The bill also still mandates that large charities identify the number and percentages of grants awarded to groups directed toward or controlled by lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender persons. AB 624 was further amended to clarity that it would apply only to the “domestic” or in-state grants of large charities. That change appears to have been directly responsive to concerns raised by PJI that the vague wording of the bill extended across state lines in violation of the Constitution’s Commerce Clause.

Brad Dacus, president of Pacific Justice Institute, commented, “We are pleased that some of the egregious, unconstitutional provisions of AB 624 have been removed. At the same time, this bill remains fatally flawed in that it equates politically powerful homosexual and transgender groups with programs serving disadvantaged ethnic and low-income minorities. The bill also needlessly injects new government mandates into the private non-profit sector with the goal of shaming charities into supporting the homosexual agenda.”