Campaign to Overturn California’s LGBT Education Law Fails


Anti-gay forces in California have failed for a second time in their attempts to have California’s LGBT school civics lessons overturned.

Reports the Sacramento Bee:

Pacific Justice Institute lawyer Kevin Snider said the Stop SB48 campaign did not gather enough signatures by Monday’s deadline to put an initiative on the 2014 ballot that would exclude sexual minorities from the list of groups whose roles in history and social science schools must teach.

Snider estimates that the all-volunteer petition circulating effort, which focused largely on churches, collected about 446,000 signatures out of the 504,760 required.

The law, known as SB48 or the Fair, Accurate, Inclusive and Respectful (FAIR) Education Act, was signed into law by Governor Jerry Brown in July of 2011.

The FAIR act does not only mandate the accurate teaching of LGBT history however. The legislation amended 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 had been left out of the previous 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.

A previous effort by anti-LGBT groups attempted to repeal the law in its entirety, but that found little support because it would have also deleted the improved teaching of racial justice history and disability rights advocacy. The anti-gay groups then changed their tactic with this latest effort, hoping instead to delete only the LGBT portion of the law.

However, the battle may not be over. The Pacific Justice Institute, backers of the Stop SB48 drive, notes on its website:

Snider hinted at future efforts by the coalition aimed at mitigating the negative effects of SB48 but did not give details.

Brad Dacus, President and Founder of the Pacific Justice Institute said, “This campaign was a struggle to protect the children of our State. While the failure to gather the necessary signatures may be a disappointment, giving up on the most vulnerable members of our society would be unforgivable.”

The groups did not pay signature gatherers this time and relied solely on volunteers to try and amass the 50,000 signatures needed to put the measure on the 2014 ballot. The above may hint that they intend a larger campaign next time around, or that they will attempt to sneak in language to another measure that might curtail the LGBT-inclusive portion of the FAIR act.

Still, for the meantime at least, this seems a small victory for California voters who, yet again given the chance to single out their LGBT brothers and sisters, decided that they would not give in to discrimination.


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

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


Winn Adams
Winn A5 years ago


Amanda M.
Amanda M5 years ago

Definitely a step in the right direction! Bigotry and hate in ANY form have no place in public schools!

Mari Garcia
Mari Garcia5 years ago

Stephaine H, kids are going to find out about gays whether you like it or not. Maybe they see it in the media, maybe their classmate has 2 moms/dads, or their best friend is gay. Your delusion that you can censor children is laughable.

Speaking of delusions, Kath N, why you are as delusional as they come. Noah Ark's is as crazy ass mythology easily destroyed using logic and science. Everything about that story is irrational and completely illgocial. A man who lived 300 spends 100 of those years building a big ass boat and 2 of all the animals of the either magically apeared there or walked there? IF people of the same family only reproduced with one another, the genetics would be messed up and that family/speices would die out. Please, keep your delusional bullshit myths to yourself, it's not cute to promote hate, especially if the mythology is as nuts as all the others. Also, bullying should never be accepted, whether we are talking about the past, now or the future. Bullying is a disgraceful part of society.

Veronica, gay pride month is in the summer because that's when gay pride events take place.

Sue H.
Sue H5 years ago

Excellent news. Teach tolerance!

Timothy Wood
Timothy W5 years ago

Kath N.
Your right about one thing. "The bullying that happens in schools is the same today as yesterday & will be the same tomorrow"

Except...wait know you are wrong. The bullying that goes on today is done by the same type people. But the way it is done is more advanced. With all of the social networking and online activity the bullying spreads more quickly. I did happen yesterday, but does this mean that it is OK today, just because it happened yesterday. If you don't like someone because they are Gay, or Black or White or because of the religious beliefs, fine what ever. Just leave them be, You don't have to like everyone, but have respect.

I feel sorry for angry bitter people. You need to reflect on your own attitude and think to yourself. Why do I need to worry about what these other people do or think as long as they are not hurting me.

Oh by the way...Get yourself a nice old version of the Bible. Read the story of sodom & gomarra and try hard to hear what the real message is there.

Veronica Rundell
Veronica Rundell5 years ago

Acknowledging the historical contributions of humankind allows us to learn that people from all cultures and races and genders and yes, even, sexualities have advanced humanity. There is no need to deny the teaching of a pivotal historical person based on his/her sexuality.

I wonder if "Gay Pride" month is in the summer for this exact reason. History teachers often take a special effort to highlight the achievements of great Black persons in Black History month, and Women during Women's history month...

I'm hetero--so are my kids (at least so far) and I don't have a problem with them learning about homosexuality--in any class. Homosexuals are who they are--and I don't live in fear that THEY, or learning about them, will corrupt and taint my kids' perception of themselves.

Honestly, I'm more up in arms over pornography, strip clubs and the misogynistic cultural values/effects that these 'businesses' spread throughout our world. It's hard enough to teach a boy to respect the women in his life. Having him grow up knowing $10 or less will bring him a naked woman to oogle is pretty tough to combat. How many petitions are the Religious Right circulating to combat women's sexual exploitation?

Kath N.
Kath N.5 years ago

the bullying that happens in schools is the same today as yesterday & will be the same tomorrow.why so many people have swallowed this LIE about homosexual bullying is beyond me, as for history it does have a habit of repeating itself. the bible is as modern & appropriate today as it was 2000 years ago , nothings changed, sexual deviency & pervertion was damned then as is now. .nothing wholesome or productive ever came from depravity. sodom & gomarra, the flood in noah's day. & as sure as those empires were doomed & destroyed it will come again. its not to do with religion its about values , morals. & a family unit with man/ woman . children.there is nothing new to learn . just the perverted 3% trying to force us to accept what is lewd, depraved ?& truly a degrading lifestyle

Tony C.
Tony C5 years ago

A class in RESPECT AND RESPONSIBILITY should be taught from Grade one to graduation. Children should be taught that anything is permissible as long as it does not hurt themselves or anyone else. If children are taught at a very early age that every child has their own strengths and weaknesses and that they should use their strengths to help others not to tease or bully them.
It should not matter if a child comes from a FAMILY of a mother and father, 2 mothers or 2 fathers or a single mother or father as long as they are LOVED.
Sex Education should be taught on LGBT, Contraceptives, Masturbation, Pregnancy and all forms of sex. Let us face it whether we like it or not children are curious and are having sex earlier. Children should be taught the JOYS and the CONSEQUENCES of having sex ( Pregnancy, STD, AIDS and others.) I believe this is a solution. Stopping the damage before it starts so that Bullying, Sexual Assault, and many others will be greatly diminished if not eradicated. It is my belief that when children graduate with these principles where they are taught RESPECT for themselves and others and to take RESPONSIBILITY for their actions. If children grow up with these values, I believe business and government would benefit greatly. Within a few generations this world would be a much better place to live in.

Timothy Wood
Timothy W5 years ago

I tend to lean to the liberal Democratic side of things. I don't want any children to be taught the Conservative Tea Bagger side of Politics. I think it is offensive and against my beliefs. This is the same thing, I hope you all can see. You cant just say I don't want anyone to teach my child that part of history or current events because I don't agree with it. If we start doing that we will have to stop educating out kids all together. There will always be some one that finds a small piece of history offensive. It is still history and needs to be learned.

Timothy Wood
Timothy W5 years ago

Stephanie H.
So if a part of history is offensive to someone's religion it shouldn't be taught? So, maybe it would have been better for the Catholic Church if schools didn't get to teach about the churches collaboration with Hitler. Or the support of the southern churches for slavery? Would that be offensive? How about we don't teach about some of the great black leaders who happened to embrace certain other religions. Most of my family and I find anti gay thinking offensive. So I would like to suggest that history be changed. I don't want any of the young in my family to be taught about the offensive behavior of our government during the McCarthy era.

Don't you understand. We aren't talking about giving children homosexual education classes. We are talking about teaching them a more accurate history of our nation and world. The only good reason to oppose it is if some one is afraid that the young might learn to think for themselves and see that maybe LGBT people aren't so bad anyway. If the young want to believe that LGBT people are still evil that is fine. At least they will know that the evil people made positive contributions to society.