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SACRAMENTO, Calif. — A grass-roots organization fighting against
pro-homosexual-rights measures sees its efforts paying off in the final
days of the California legislature’s 1999-2000 session, as key measures
fall short of the votes necessary for passage.
With just three days left in the critical pre-election half of the
two-year session, ’tis the season for legislators to spend long nights
debating controversial legislation in the wee hours of the morning.
There are an estimated 800 bills remaining on the calendar, many of
which have been strategically saved for these eleventh-hour moments as
Senate and Assembly members scramble to meet the year’s final deadline.
The last two years in particular have been marked by the passage of
major homosexual-rights bills, which have been signed into law by Gov.
Gray Davis, a Democrat and career politician whose former post was
lieutenant governor under Republican Gov. Pete Wilson. Perhaps the most
significant of those measures is California’s domestic partnership
registry, which grants homosexual couples official recognition by the
But as the days mesh into one another in this legislative year’s
final push, at least one homosexual-rights bill was defeated through the
efforts of the
Campaign for California Families — a grass-roots organization in Sacramento headed by activist Randy Thomasson.
“These bad bills are intolerant of parents; they discriminate against religious values; they are hateful against the sacred institution of marriage; and they are bigoted against parental rights. These bills should have never been introduced,” he said.
|Randy Thomasson, executive director of the Campaign for California Families, organizes grass-roots Californians to lobby the state legislature on “pro-family” issues.|
The Campaign for California Families is focusing its efforts on specific measures such as
Senate Bill 1326 by
Sen. Tom Hayden, D-Los Angeles, ex-husband to actress Jane Fonda. SB 1326 requires the State Department of Education to “review and report on the adequacy of instruction on human relations issues in curriculum.” Those “relations” include homosexual relationships. The bill also requires the State Board of Education “to make adjustments to the curriculum as needed.”
The Campaign collected private contributions to purchase 20 full-page newspaper ads in the districts of known “swing” Assembly votes, highlighting the content of key homosexual rights bills, including SB 1326.
For example, in the Golden State’s central valley, home to
Assemblyman Dennis Cardoza, D-Turlock — who won his seat by a slim margin in a heated 1996 election — CCF ran
one of its ads in the Modesto Bee, Turlock Journal and Merced Sun Star.
“Assemblyman Dennis Cardoza could be the deciding vote this week on bills that will undermine Prop. 22, harm parental rights and promote a very controversial sexual agenda to our schoolchildren,” the ad states. “As shocking as it may seem, Cardoza has already supported two homosexual curriculum bills.”
Proposition 22 was the state’s “Defense of Marriage Act,” renamed by the state as the “Limit on Marriage” proposition, which was approved by an overwhelming 61.4 percent of voters. It defined “marriage” as being strictly between one man and one woman.
The ad then lists Cardoza’s capitol and district office phone numbers, as well as the legislator’s e-mail address. Cardoza voted against SB 1326 but would not comment about why he did so.
But Cardoza is not the only legislator being targeted for his swing vote. In all, last week’s ads alone specifically mentioned 10 different Assembly members, at least six of whom did not support SB 1326 or other related measures.
open letter to four black assemblymen in the Los Angeles area, 41 black ministers let their representatives know they are watching the votes. The letter ran in a local publication called “The Wave.”
“Teaching children to approve of [homosexual] conduct is something our community should not and will not put up with,” the letter states. “The homosexual agenda goes against what parents want and children need. Sexual behavior should not be equated with race, anytime or anywhere.”
“Assemblymen, this open letter is for your eyes and the eyes of the public. All four of you have voted to impose homosexual ‘partnership’ statewide on the same level as a married spouse. Three of you have voted to make homosexuality an official minority equal to race and ethnicity. Three of you have voted to elevate cross-dressing and sex changes to full ‘civil rights’ status on the same level as race,” the letter continues. “You may have thought no one would notice, but we did. And we don’t like what we see,” the ministers wrote.
A minister himself, Washington’s biography in the California Legislature Handbook indicates the Texas native was “called to the ministry in 1983,” and he was ordained in 1988. He studied at the Minister’s Institute at Bishop College in Dallas. Active in his ministry, Washington founded the “Saturday Night Live Christian Fellowship” and the “Young Minister’s Conference of Los Angeles.”
Wright is a member of the Ward African Methodist Episcopal Church and often gives passionate speeches on the Assembly floor in opposition to gun-control measures.
Neither men returned calls for comment.
Wright and Vincent both voted in favor of SB 1326; Washington chose not to vote on the bill either way. CCF ads that ran in the districts of several Hispanic Assembly members, however, were successful, as all four Hispanic members whose districts were targeted either voted against or abstained from voting on the bill.
“Darkness is the absence of light,” said Thomasson. “Our newspaper ads are shining the light of truth right in the faces of these legislators, and they can’t get away from it. The voters are waking up.”
SB 1326 failed passage Thursday, garnering only 38 of the 41 votes required, although it may be reconsidered due to a parliamentary rule before the session ends. Democrats hold 47 of the 80 Assembly seats.
Another bill eligible this week is
Assembly Bill 2000, which, if approved, establishes the California Commission on Human Relations. The commission’s purpose is “to foster harmonious and equitable intergroup relations among all Californians.”
If approved, the commission will be given a budget that it may allocate to, among other things, hire a staff. According to an
analysis of the bill prepared by Democrat staff at the State Capitol, the bill “provides that the Commission will (a) assess state and local response in the area of human relations, (b) identify prevention and multicultural community-building strategies, (c) advise the Governor and Legislature on changes in law or administrative practice that are necessary to improve state and local response in human relations, (d) develop an initial workplan within the first two years to accomplish these goals, and (e) collaborate with associations of human relations organizations in the development of the workplan and its subsequent implementation.”
“It’s the ‘State Commission on Human Relations,’ but it should be called the ‘State Commission Promoting Homosexuality and Transgenderism,'” said Thomasson. AB 2000 and other bills are being “supported by the homosexual lobby, and they’re being very sneaky about it,” he added.
“If it walks like a duck and sounds like a duck, it is a duck. This is the homosexual agenda under the force of law,” Thomasson declared in his characteristic candor. “The point is to bring the battle cry up and let people know that their children are about to be snatched from them. Let’s rise and say, ‘No.’ This is not about tolerance. This is about intolerance against families and family values.”
“It’s shocking that liberals in the California legislature are pushing homosexual curriculum bills in the year that California went to the ballot box and voted against homosexual ‘marriage,'” he said “If they continue to push these bills against the will of the people, some legislators are going to suffer at the ballot box in November.”
CCF is continuing its efforts to place full-page ads in California newspapers through private donations.
The current ads may be viewed at the organization’s website.