LOS ANGELES -- After the passage of the FAIR Education Act (SB 48) in California last month, some anti-gay conservative groups have launched a campaign to repeal the law which ensures that the history and contributions of the LGBT people is not left out of school curriculum in the state.
The Stop SB 48 campaign, which believes that the law "forces children to study materials that tell them their family's values are wrong," has launched a petition to put a referendum vote on the ballot, which would overturn SB 48 if passed by voters. The Attorney General has authorized the petition, which needs 750,000 valid signatures by Sept. 30 to qualify for the referendum.
This week, Rick Jacobs, chair and founder of the Courage Campaign, sent a letter to Paulo Sibaja of Stop SB 48 asking that the anti-gay conservative group stop giving out inaccurate information about the FAIR Education Act’s true intent.
"The law requires California schools to integrate lessons about social movements, current events and the social contributions of lesbian and gay individuals into existing social studies lessons," the Courage Campaign said in a news release.
The Stop SB 48 campaign distributed a newsletter Monday, with the following claim:
“SB 48 will teach children as young as five to not only accept but also endorse transgenderism, bisexuality, and homosexuality through our social sciences curriculum including history, history books and instructional materials. It also requires teachers and administrators to enter into the divisive debate over sexual orientation and morality and to portray only one side of that debate. Essentially teachers and administrators are being asked not to tolerate but to advocate.”
Jacobs says that the information being sent from Stop SB 48 is completely false:
“In no way, shape or form does this law have anything to do with sex education, and it certainly does not teach homosexuality to kindergartners,” said Jacobs. “That’s just overblown, anti-gay rhetoric. Teachings are age-appropriate and factual. It's ridiculous to interpret this as five-year-olds being taught sex ed or about the Stonewall Riots, which sparked the gay rights movement. Lessons will be developed at the local level so teachers and parents can decide what’s appropriate for each classroom.”
Courage Campaign has joined with other California progressive organizations to educate the public and run a decline-to-sign campaign. For more information about Courage Campaign's efforts, click HERE.