CA Anti-Gay Ballot Effort Floundering?
Opponents of SB48, California’s new education law that would call on schools to fairly and accurately portray the historic contributions of LGBTs in the curriculum, have launched a ballot initiative to repeal the law because they say it is indoctrination. However, recent reports suggest their efforts may not be getting the backing from the big religious groups whose financial support they will need to put the law up for a public vote.
Organizers of the Stop SB48 campaign— Senate Bill 48 was the law approved by the California Legislature and signed by Gov. Jerry Brown in July — are telling would-be voters the new mandate would inappropriately expose young children to sex, infringe on parental rights and silence religion-based criticisms of homosexuality. Those are talking points successfully used by proponents of Proposition 8, the 2008 ballot measure that banned same-sex marriage in California.
But so far, Mormon and Catholic church leaders and conservative groups who spearheaded the Proposition 8 campaign have not joined the effort to qualify the gay history referendum for the June 2012 ballot, leaving less-experienced Christian conservatives to lead the charge without the organizational prowess and funding to hire paid signature gatherers.
Political operatives say they can’t recall any citizens’ initiative that made the state ballot without professional petition circulators in almost three decades.
“If someone wrote a million-dollar check, we would be guaranteed to get this on the ballot,” said Pacific Justice Institute President Brad Dacus, whose legal aid firm wrote the proposed measure and is co-sponsoring the signature-gathering effort. “That’s not the case at this point… We are counting on people in churches and communities and families making the extra effort to get it done.”
Governor Jerry Brown signed the Fair, Accurate, Inclusive and Respectful (FAIR) Education Act in July.
The legislation is designed to address gaps in California’s current school textbooks. The FAIR Education Act amends California’s Education Code to include instruction on the contributions of LGBTs, disability rights advocates; racial justice organizations and many other groups who were important in the shaping of history yet have been left out of the curriculum.
The legislation also prohibits discriminatory instruction or discriminatory materials from being used by the State Board of Education. It is hoped that this legislation may also help to passively combat bullying as children learn that LGBTs and other minority groups are very much part of society and have been throughout history.
Groups opposing the legislation have fallen back on old anti-LGBT tactics of missinformation and missdirection, charging that the legislation will lead to the indoctrination of children, that it is costly at a time when the state cannot afford such changes (even though changes to textbooks won’t be made until 2014 at the earliest), and that the legislation is being used simply as a means to push a ‘liberal,’ ‘gay’ agenda in schools.
One such video campaign launched by the Family Research Council — a designated hate group known for its anti-gay agenda — has been taken to task for its buffet of untruths.
Knowing how powerful the “think of the children” meme proved to be where California’s Proposition 8 battle was concerned, the impetus for supporters of the law is now to point out the flaws and flat out lies in the anti-SB48 campaigns.
As such, below is a video made by SB48 supporter Sean Chapin where he goes through the Family Research Council campaign video point by point and explains how the religious conservative group is misleading its audience.