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Repeal of California’s FAIR Education Act Advances

Repeal of California’s FAIR Education Act Advances


Groups wanting to repeal California’s FAIR Education Act, which mandates that schools teach fairly and accurately the history of a number of groups including LGBT rights figures, were given the go ahead last week by the California Secretary of State to begin the signature gathering process to put a repeal proposal before voters during the November 14 ballot.

Via the Bay Area Reporter:

The proposal, submitted by Lou Sheldon of the anti-gay Traditional Values Coalition, repeals SB 48′s requirement that instructional materials recognize those contributions.

Sheldon also wants to undo the law’s provision that prohibits instructional materials that reflect adversely on people based on their sexual orientation and other characteristics.

Backers of Sheldon’s initiative have until June 25 to collect the 504,760 valid signatures needed to get the proposal on the state ballot.

This is one among a number of attempts to repeal the law.

There has already been talk of potential legal action should a measure to repeal the LGBT aspect of the law be approved at the ballot. Citing the attempt to carve out only the LGBT portion of the Act as clearly demonstrating animus toward the LGBT community, LGBT rights groups feel that, under court challenge, it could be overturned.

Still, LGBT rights groups are hopeful that the proposal will not even qualify for the ballot given that a previous attempt made by a group called Stop SB48, who wanted the law blocked from coming into effect, floundered.

Governor Jerry Brown signed SB48, the Fair, Accurate, Inclusive and Respectful (FAIR) Education Act in July of last year.

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.

Related Reading:

California Passes Gay-Inclusive Education Bill

California Senate Passes LGBT-Inclusive Education Bill

Lawmaker Accused of trying to “Queer” California Schools with New Legislation


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Photo used under the Creative Commons Attribution License, with thanks to jglsongs.

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2:40AM PST on Feb 1, 2012

In the mid-eighties while a graduate student at San Diego State University, Sheldon had an Op-Ed published in the NY Times identifying himself as a minister in the Presbyterian Church (USA). The campus Presbyterian minister, who sat on the local presbytery, was a personal friend of mine who knew first hand that Sheldon had in fact left the Church (in large part over their then-progressive stance on human sexuality). When I pointed the article out to him, he wrote a letter to the Times, which they published. Sheldon never again claimed to be a minister of the Presbyterian Church. He continues to be a vile and hateful obscenity.

2:44PM PST on Jan 31, 2012

I hope this fails.

11:51AM PST on Jan 31, 2012

This attempt to restrict access to reality is nothing more than an attempt to rewrite history. If I recall correctly, this was tried in Nazi Germany and Communist Russia. Do those who support it wish to go down the same road? The truth is the truth, and here's a newsflash: LGBT is not catching! So what are they afraid of?

11:23AM PST on Jan 31, 2012

Thanks for posting Steve.

8:04AM PST on Jan 31, 2012

Sure! Lets dumb down our kids! Right Wing tactics to keep the people blind!

7:23AM PST on Jan 31, 2012

If you are going to teach History and Social/Civil Rights then STOP TRYING to negate a whole section of it. The advances and contributions made by all leaders whether LGBT, Native American, Caucasion, etc have affected the lives and freedoms of all persons.

7:08AM PST on Jan 31, 2012

Thank you for the article...

5:30AM PST on Jan 31, 2012

I just can't figure out what the Right Wing-nuts are so afraid of.

4:47AM PST on Jan 31, 2012

Fifty years ago, it was thought that suggesting some historical figure might have had same-sex experiences, or even same-sex feelings, somehow tarnished them, and these were kept quiet even in really obvious cases like Walt Whitman's. The whole world has moved past this now, and we're capable of appreciating our great historic figures as whole people, with love lives and sexual or gender identities that might not be the same as ours. I was very happy when the FAIR act passed, and if the haters get their anti-FAIR measure on the ballot here in Cali, I'll be there volunteering to help see it does not pass.

8:14PM PST on Jan 30, 2012

Social conservatives are waging an all out war against the LGBT community. They are pushing these oppressive laws in all of the states.

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