Governor Okays Inclusion of LGBT History In Textbooks
Coalition petitioning to get referendum against the new law onto the June 2012 ballot.
By EGP News Report
A coalition opposing SB 48, also known as the FAIR (Fair, Accurate, Inclusive, and Respectful) Education Act, a bill recently signed into law that requires textbooks to include the history of LGBT people and people with disabilities, received approval on Tuesday to circulate petitions for a referendum on the June 2012 ballot.
The coalition, composed of the Pacific Justice Institute and Capitol Resources Institute, must collect 504,000 signatures by mid-October to qualify the measure, which would overturn SB 48 if passed by voters.
Earlier this week, Brad Dacus, an attorney and president of the Pacific Justice Institute, told the Sacramento Bee, “We cannot afford to stay silent or stand on the sidelines. Californians are extremely tolerant, but we draw the line when history is revised to please a special interest group.”
Representatives of the Capitol Resources Institute say there has been “outrage” nationwide over this bill. Karen England, executive director of the Capitol Resources Family Impact, a subsidiary of the Capitol Resources Institute, told the Bee, “the interest nationwide has been very positive to our side of things.”
Roland Palencia, Equality California Executive Director, said this campaign is “an attempt by our opponents to revive lies based on prejudice about LBGT people being dangerous to children.”
Palencia said his group will be working to “prevent this measure from reaching the ballot by engaging Californians in a conversation about our opponent’s real motivations and the truth about what the FAIR Education act does and does not do.”
Gov. Jerry Brown’s signing of the bill earlier this month was hailed by educators and leaders in the gay advocacy community.
“Today marks a monumental victory for the LGBT civil rights movement as the contributions of diverse LGBT community will no longer be erased from history,” Equality California Executive Director Roland Palencia said responding to the bill’s signing.
The Fair, Accurate, Inclusive, and Respectful (FAIR) Education Act (SB 48), which was authored by Senator Mark Leno (D-San Francisco) and co-sponsored by Equality California and Gay-Straight Alliance Network, will add the LGBT community to an existing list of under-represented cultural and ethnic groups that must be included in textbooks and other instructional materials.
“Denying LGBT people their rightful place in history gives our young people an inaccurate and incomplete view of the world around them,” said Leno following Brown’s signing of his bill.
According to Palencia, LGBT leaders have “worked tirelessly to improve the quality of life” for Californians. They took part in the 1960s civil rights, farm worker and women’s movements, and have “built health and human services institutions that now serve millions of Californians, and have contributed to the economic development of our state,” he said.
Carolyn Laub, Executive Director of Gay-Straight Alliance Network said in signing the bill, “Governor Brown has realized the hopes of youth who have been fighting for safe and inclusive schools, where all students learn about our history and gain respect for each other’s differences as a result.”
Other supporters of the act include the Mexican American Legal Defense Fund, Los Angeles Unified School District, Asian Americans For Civil Rights & Equality, California Church IMPACT, Our Family Coalition, National Center for Lesbian Rights, Fresno County Democratic Central Committee, San Joaquin Valley Democratic Club, and the California Teachers Association.
“There is no room for discrimination of any kind in our classrooms, our communities or our state,” President of the California Teachers Association Dean E. Vogel said of their support of the newly-signed bill. “We believe that curricula should address the common values of the society, promote respect for diversity and cooperation, and prepare students to compete in, and cope with a complex and rapidly evolving society.”Print This Post
July 28, 2011 Copyright © 2012 Eastern Group Publications, Inc.