The director of California's largest
gay rights group has said opponents of a gay history law would likely
win if the law was put up for a vote.
California Governor Jerry Brown in July
signed the measure which mandates the inclusion of the historical
contributions of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender Americans in
the state's textbooks.
Starting as early as the 2013-2014
school year, Senate Bill 48 or the FAIR Education Act,
sponsored by state Senator Mark Leno, a Democrat, requires the
California Board of Education and local school districts to include
the curriculum in their lesson plans.
Opponents reacted swiftly, submitting
ballot language to the state for a proposed referendum. The groups
have until October 12 to collect the signatures of 504,760 registered
voters to qualify for the next statewide ballot.
The Bay Area Reporter, San Francisco's gay weekly,
Equality California (EQCA) Executive Director Roland Palencia
believes voters would repeal the law if given the opportunity.
“The prospects are not good if this
gets to the ballot,” Palencia told reporters during a conference
call. “I am not under any illusion.”
In statement released a few hours
later, Palencia expanded on his comments: “We are realistic about
how difficult this campaign will be, how hard it will be to win. But
we also know that even if we start way behind, a loss is not a
foregone conclusion. From our starting place our chances may not
look good, but I don't believe it is impossible.”
In urging Governor Brown to veto the
law, opponents called it an “attack on the family” and part of an
agenda to indoctrinate children.
“Social engineering of homosexual,
bisexual and transgender lifestyles is being done behind parents'
backs. Most parents say no to this,” Randy Thomasson of the
Christian conservative group Save California told Sacramento-based
ABC affiliate News 10.