July 17, 2011, Melanie Nathan,
On Friday, anti-equality advocates submitted paperwork to ask voters to overturn SB 48—the FAIR (Fair, Accurate, Inclusive, Respectful) Education Act.
The pro- LGBT legislation signed a mere week ago by California Governor, Jerry Brown, ensures that California students learn fair and accurate information about the rich and diverse history of LGBT people and people with disabilities as well as their contributions to society.
When it comes to LGBT rights, the fight is never over, even as legislation passes , there seems no end to bigotry and the further victimization of a minority’s rights. ; As always a group of bigots who believe equality impinges on their own rights, will breach all sense of decency and turn on their fellow citizens.
The irony is that during the legislative process, opponents had the opportunity to debate and that they did spewing according to Roland Palencia, Executive Director of Equality California”outrageous lies about LGBT people ,” while perpetuating “ugly myths based on prejudice about LGBT people preying on children.”
Now we are possibly headed for a ballot campaign to relive the obnoxious odor of Prop 8. In the last couple of days alone, anti-equality advocates such as the “Traditional Values Coalition” which claims to be an inter-denominational public policy organization speaking on behalf of over 43,000 churches, and others have already claimed that the FAIR Education Act will:
- “molest the minds of impressionable youth;”
- turn all textbooks and instructional materials into “pro-homosexual promotion tools;”
- and be used to “indoctrinate children…to not only accept, but also endorse homosexuality.”
Over the next several months, the promoters must collect 504,760 signatures in order to qualify for the ballot. According to Palencia, in a letter to supporters Monday, ” We don’t know for sure whether they’ll succeed. But we do know that, as with Proposition 8, opponents of equality are ready to amass a huge financial war chest to misrepresent the law, spread more lies about LGBT people and turn back the clock on equality. We can’t take a “wait and see” approach. If our opponents do qualify for the ballot, we must prepare NOW to fight back—and win in the public arena. ”
Indeed the folks at EQCA are right; Prop 8 had sleepy advocates at the wheel and to fail to learn from our mistakes and rest on our laurels will be equality suicide. For some reason as a community we have never been able to come up with the kind of money our opponents have done. I ask why? Do we feel less outraged by not having our rights than they do about us having our equal rights? Have we failed to tap into the American conscience?
This Act is ironically symbolic as it corrects the very aspect that has marginalized the LGBT community. Critical outreach to educate and inform our children about LGBT people has been tacitly taboo and in some districts overtly so – with the FAIR ACT now must be taught – thereby shedding light that gay and lesbian people are in parity and as worthy as others.
As the new generation is poised to bring an end to this shameful fight, you can bet that the religious right, will go all out, perhaps even beyond the harangue of Prop 8, in its attempts to continue to thwart equality.
EQCA asserts: “The contributions of LGBT people to our society have, until now, been censored and erased from education. But we know the lies of our opposition cannot stand up to the truth of our history. Preserving this victory will not only provide California students with a more accurate education and a safer learning environment, but also deliver a powerful blow to those who would stand in the way of equality for LGBT people.”
I recommend donations be made to Equality California at Make your contribution .