Foes of a law that mandates schools
teach about the historical contributions of gay, lesbian, bisexual
and transgender people have one day left to gather enough voter
signatures for a repeal effort.
Starting as early as the 2013-14 school
year, Senate Bill 48 (SB48) or the FAIR
Education Act, sponsored by state Senator Mark Leno, a
Democrat from San Francisco, requires the California Board of
Education and local school districts to include the curriculum in
their lesson plans.
Opponents of the law have until
tomorrow to collect the signatures of 504,760 registered voters to
qualify for the next statewide ballot.
Karen England, executive director of
the Capitol Resource Institute, the group spearheading the Stop SB48
campaign, told the San
Francisco Chronicle that she was confident her group would
qualify for the referendum.
But the group sounded less confident in
recent emails to supporters.
“The news is not good,” the group
wrote on Tuesday. “Finally with two days in a row of no mail
delivery, collection points around the state were able to get a good
estimate of how many signatures we have in hand. While we expect to
have a large amount arrive today and even Wednesday it is doubtful we
will get the number of signatures we need to qualify.”
“From all appearances, we would need
a miracle to qualify this referendum. But many of those close to the
referendum campaign believe in miracles and want to fight until the
very last minute. Are you in?”
Supporters of the law note that
national conservative organizations have largely kept out of the
fight, leading to the speculation that they are planning a November
2012 ballot initiative.
“We always imagined they would try to
take another bite at the apple in November,” said Rebekah Orr, a
spokesperson for Equality California, the state's largest gay rights
group. “If they don't qualify in a few days, then we need to be
prepared for them to qualify in November.”
accuses foes of California gay history law SB48 of tricking voters.)