Tell Michigan Senators to Reject Government Promotion of Religious Discrimination

April 22, 2014

On Wednesday, April 30, the Michigan Senate Committee on Finance will consider proposals that would permit taxpayers to donate to the Boy Scouts through a box on their income tax return. The Center for Inquiry (CFI) opposes this move and urges Michigan residents to immediately contact members of the Senate Committee on Finance to oppose it.

On Michigan Income Tax Form 4642, taxpayers are encouraged to make contributions to ten charitable organizations, including the ALS Association of Michigan, Alzheimer’s Association of Michigan, United Way, and the Girl Scouts of Michigan. The state then collects the donations and distributes them to the charities. Senate Bills 645 and 646 are part of a package of bills pending in the Senate and House that would add the Boy Scouts of Michigan to the list of approved charities.

The Girl Scouts are an admirably open and democratic organization. However, the Boy Scouts have a history of religiously based discrimination. The organization requires Scouts to profess belief in God, and does not allow non-religious boys to serve as Scouts. It also still bars gay persons from serving as Scoutmasters. Indeed, the Boy Scouts recently revoked the charter of Seattle’s Rainier Beach United Methodist Church after the parish stood by an openly gay Scoutmaster.

Our government should not endorse, promote, or encourage citizens to support organizations that openly discriminate against fellow citizens. CFI urges you to contact members of the Senate Committee on Finance and tell them to reject these proposals.

Act now!

Members of the Michigan Senate Committee on Finance:

Sen. Jack Brandenburg (R-District 11), Chair
(517) 373-7670

Sen. Mark C. Jansen (R-District 28), Majority Vice Chair
(517) 373-0797

Sen. John Pappageorge (R-District 13)
(517) 373-2523

Sen. John Proos (R-District 21) 
(517) 373-6960

Sen. David B. Robertson (R-District 26)
(517) 373-1636

Sen. Rebekah Warren (D-District 9), Minority Vice Chair
(517) 373-2406

Sen. Steven M Bieda (D-District 18)
(517) 373-8360

Note: the Michigan Senate Committee on Finance orginally planned to consider these proposals on Wednesday, April 23, but postponed its meeting one week.