The ink has barely dried on the FAIR Education Act, and already antigay groups have begun to collect signatures for a ballot referendum to overturn the nation's first law requiring public schools to include LGBT history in the curriculum.
Stop SB48, which is organized by the Capitol Resource Institute, a self-described "watchdog for family values," asserts that the bill -- which Governor Jerry Brown recently signed into law -- undermines the traditional family and the community.
They argue that it "creates conflict between schools and families over the values children learn" and "forces schools to use a social science curriculum that promotes the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender lifestyles that undermine traditional family relationships."
State Senator Mark Leno (D-San Francisco) introduced the bill in December, promoting the incorporation of LGBT education as a way to combat bullying and discrimination. The bill does not specify at what age public schools should start teaching "the role and contributions of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Americans," but prohibits teachers from sponsoring any activity that may contain a discriminatory bias on the basis of sexual orientation."
Also included in the bill were persons with disabilities and Pacific Islanders, presumably to round out the already existing legislation that requires schools to teach about women, African Americans, Mexican Americans, Asian Americans, European Americans, and American Indians.
"Some list. It makes you wonder if there'll be time to teach anything else -- like reading, writing, and arithmetic," Stop SB48 says in a NYPost editorial.
Stop SB48 needs to collect 505,000 valid voter signatures within 90 days o see the referendum on the ballot. "The outpour of support is just tremendous," representative Paulo Sibaja told SF Weekly. "We're confident that we're going to get the signatures."