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Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (Courtesy Sacramento Bee)
Breaking a policy of not commenting on pending bills, a spokesman for Arnold Schwarzenegger says the California governor will veto at least one of three controversial education measures related to sexual orientation.
The governor opposes a measure passed by the Senate and pending in the Assembly that would remove “sex-specific” terms such as “mom” and “dad” from textbooks and would require students to learn about the contributions homosexuals have made to society, the Sacramento Bee reported.
“The governor believes that school curriculum should include all important historical figures, regardless of orientation,” said Schwarzenegger’s director of communications, Adam Mendelsohn, according to the Bee. “However, he does not support the Legislature micromanaging curriculum.”
Randy Thomasson, president of Campaign for Children and Families, said he’s pleased Schwarzenegger is listening to the concerns of parents.
He urges Schwarzenegger to veto two other “sexual indoctrination” bills, because “parents and grandparents are demanding it.”
AB 606, would authorize the California Superintendent of Public Instruction to arbitrarily withhold state funds – about two-thirds of a school district’s budget – from any district that does not adequately promote transsexuality, bisexuality or homosexuality in its school policies.
A third measure, AB 1056, would spend $250,000 in taxpayer dollars to promote transsexual, bisexual and homosexual lifestyles as part of “tolerance education.”
Sen. Sheila Kuehl
Democratic state Sen. Sheila Kuehl, the openly lesbian author of the measure Schwarzenegger plans to veto, expressed disbelief that the governor already has made up his mind on a bill that still hadn’t been vetted by one house of the Legislature, the Sacramento paper said.
“He hasn’t made up his mind, I don’t care what some underling might have said,” insisted Kuehl, who said she had not spoken with the governor yet about the bill.
Kuehl plans to initiate a conversation when the measure gets to the Assembly floor.
“For them to take a position on it, I think is precipitous,” she said. “There’s nothing controversial about it. The right wing has drummed up a lot of old fears. Once people understand what it really does, the response is usually OK.”
Seth Kilbourn, political director for the homosexual-rights group Equality California, called the governor’s indication of opposition “disappointing.”
Kilbourn doesn’t see any political benefit in the governor rejecting the bill, with June being “Gay Pride Month.”
“This would not be the best time for him to be doing that if he wanted to appear more friendly,” Kilbourn told the Sacramento paper. “He’s passed more pieces of legislation benefiting the GLBT (gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgendered) community – except for gay marriage – than any other governor.”
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