A coalition of thirteen major anti-gay organizations has failed again to get an initiative that would repeal a law requiring gay-inclusive lessons in California’s pubic schools. Anti-gay organizations today via a joint statement announced they were unable to get 500,000 signatures to add the initiative, the Children Learning Accurate Social Science (CLASS) Act, to the 2014 ballot. This is the second time anti-gay groups have failed to repeal SB-48. Last year, Stop SB-48 failed as well.
The law the coalition is trying to repeal, California’s SB-48, aka California’s FAIR Education Act. What does SB-48 do for California? Here’s the pitch before the bill was signed into law:
“The FAIR Education Act would ensure that LGBT people are included in instructional materials, which studies have shown is linked to greater student safety and lower rates of bullying,” wrote Equality California last year. “The FAIR Education Act would require that lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) Americans are included and recognized for their important historical contributions to the economic, political, and social development of California. Specifically, this legislation would add LGBT to the existing list of underrepresented cultural and ethnic groups, which are covered by current law related to inclusion in textbooks and other instructional materials in schools. This inclusion will help to ensure that students get a fair and accurate picture of the people and events that have shaped our society, and that fair and accurate portrayals of LGBT people are no longer” excluded from classroom discussions. The FAIR Education Act will bring classroom instruction into alignment with non– discrimination laws passed by the California Legislature and adopted by the State Board of Education a decade ago, by prohibiting the adoption of discriminatory instructional materials and textbooks.”
It’s important to note, too, that SB-48 doesn’t just help students learn about LGBT people. Minorities and the disabled are included in the law.
So, who are the anti-gay groups that once again failed to derail SB-48?
Calvary Chapel Chino Hills, Faith and Public Policy, Capitol Resource Institute, Advocates for Faith and Freedom, Pacific Justice Institute, The National Center for Law and Policy, Traditional Values Coalition, Korean Gospel Broadcast Company, Organization for Justice and Equality, United Families International, Alliance Defense Fund, Family Research Council, and Concerned Women for America. (Groups in bold are anti-gay hate groups certified by the Southern Poverty Law Center.)
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