SB 48, FAIR Education Act Referendum Not Going to Qualify

Anti-gay groups aren’t able to gather enough signatures

by Brian Leubitz

Quite the day in the gay rights movement today.  First the executive director of Equality California abruptly resigns, which was quite a shock considering he was hired only a few months ago.  But that’s just the beginning, as the referendum intended to block the fair education act, which would include the contributions of the LGBT and disabled community in our curriculum, seems to have gone down in flames.

With just one day left to circulate petitions, organizers of an effort to repeal a new law requiring that California students learn about the historical contributions of gay and lesbian individuals have told supporters that they “would need a miracle to qualify this referendum.”

The Pacific Justice Institute and an arm of Capitol Resource Institute have been leading an effort to overturn Senate Bill 48, which requires public school instruction to include the role and contributions of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals, people with disabilities and members of different cultural groups. They face a Wednesday deadline for submitting to election officials the roughly 505,000 valid voter signatures needed to place a referendum of the law on the ballot.

Despite days of emails calling for a final push in the signature gathering campaign, referendum organizers told supporters in an early morning email that “it is doubtful we will get the number of signatures we need to qualify” the proposed referendum. (SacBee)

To be honest, I was always the skeptic that this would ever qualify, but I guess it did help raise money for some of those LGBT organizations.  Given that they were using an all-volunteer effort, it always seemed very unlikely to qualify.  

Nonetheless, this is great news for those interested in pursuing equality and fair portrayals of history.

5 thoughts on “SB 48, FAIR Education Act Referendum Not Going to Qualify”

  1. If the LGBT and disabled peoples contributions were of significance, should that alone not qualify their inclusion?

    It would seem to me your giving them credit for said contributions along with credit for simply “being” LGBT or disabled.  And considering most kids graduate with no understanding of how to balance a checkbook and so many other necessary life skills why are we wasting time on more of this social studies BS that 90% of the kids forget two weeks after they hear it?

    I’d rather they bring back shop classes so kids would learn how to hammer a nail or measure an angle cut.  That would benefit the children far more than what this legislation proposes.

  2. I had a robo-call last week about this law that purported to be a survey. Of course it was no such thing. Instead the recorded voice asked leading questions about whether I thought it was a good idea to introduce children to the homosexual lifestyle–or some such nonsense. I’m sure, if they bothered to listen to my responses at all (which I doubt) that they’ll be horribly disappointed that a straight, old, white woman wasn’t just shocked and horrified by this.

    But I’m not.

    I’ve known lots of LGBT people in my life. Other than their choice of sexual partners, I find little difference between them and my straight friends. It’s been a little disorienting to have friends change gender identification. But mostly because I was embarrassed to have forgotten their new names. I’m not sure why. I forget other people’s names all the time. But these felt more important.

    One thing I do know about all of them is that it was very difficult for them growing up different. As the skinny, ugly girl with glasses and braces who still looked like a boy long after my classmates were becoming women, I understand a little bit of what this is like. But just a little I’m sure. If teaching kids about Harvey Milk or Dan Choi or anybody else, keeps one child from feeling bad about themselves, or keeps other children from bullying them, then I say it’s worth it.

    I’d love it if children graduated from school knowing more. But I don’t see how this is going to affect that. I do see how it could affect an LGBT child’s self esteem. I know it helps girls imagine themselves capable of being leaders to hear about other women who were.

    For all those reasons, I’m all for it!

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