UPDATE, OCT. 13, 4:17 PM.: Stop SB 48, the group that aimed to repeal the so-called Gay History Law, was unable to gather enough signatures from voters by this week's deadline.
“Despite the overuse of the term 'tolerance,' there is little tolerance for those who do not endorse the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender lifestyles,” the group stated in a message on its website.
ORIGINAL POST, SEPT. 7, 9 A.M.: In July, Gov. Jerry Brown signed SB 48, also known as the FAIR Education Act, which requires that California public schools incorporate the contributions of gays and lesbians in their lessons.
Or, as Anaheim-based Traditional Values Coalition (TVC) describes it (and we're not joking): “The unthinkable and bizarre will be reality and it will be protected under the law!!”
The bill is being called “this year's Prop 8” as fired-up conservative groups and churches across the state join together in a last-ditch effort to stop the “homosexual indoctrination.” They're rallying for a referendum, scrambling to get 504,760 registered voters to sign a petition by the Oct. 12 deadline so that the law can be put up for a public vote.
Leading the petition drive is Capitol Resource Institute (CRI), an organization originally founded as an anti-abortion lobbying group by wealthy OC businessmen Rob Hurtt and Howard Ahmanson Jr. The group and others have launched StopSB48.com, which includes downloadable info sheets to stuff into church bulletins.
SB 48, written by Sen. Mark Leno (D-San Francisco) and sponsored by Equality California and Gay-Straight Alliance Network, is intended to add the LGBT community to an existing list of underrepresented cultural and ethnic groups that must be covered in textbooks and other instructional materials in K-12 public schools. But opponents believe it “will teach children as young as five to not only accept but also endorse transgenderism, bisexuality and homosexuality,” and argue that implementing the law would be costly and divert classroom time and resources away from subjects like science, math and writing.
The website shows a video of a tearful Massachusetts couple named Rob and Robin Wirthlin, whose son was forced to read King and King, a children's story about a gay prince.
Here's a nugget from TVC:
Korean churches in Southern California have also come out against against SB 48. New America Media reports that members of the National Council of Korean Churches and the U.S. offices of the Christian Council of Korea in Southern California discussed their plans to overturn the bill.
If the referendum succeeds, Equality California predicts a grim future for the law. However, the Associated Press points out that the Stop SB 48 campaign faces an uphill battle as well, as the Mormon and Catholic groups that spearheaded the Prop 8 have mostly stayed out of this issue.
At this point, it's hard to tell where the petition drive stands.
In the meantime, inspired by the anti-gay rally, our sister paper LA Weekly is highlighting important gays and lesbians in history, “the same people Stop SB 48 doesn't want California students to know about.” Read and learn.