Bob Unruh joined WND in 2006 after nearly three decades with the Associated Press, as well as several Upper Midwest newspapers, where he covered everything from legislative battles and sports to tornadoes and homicidal survivalists. He is also a photographer whose scenic work has been used commercially.More ↓Less ↑
Absent a provision in the California Constitution that would ban “stupid” laws, the non-profit Advocates for Faith and Freedom has filed a lawsuit challenging a new state law that would ban “mom” and “dad” from public schools.
WND has reported that experts fear the socially groundbreaking legislative plan, signed into law by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, will impose a radical pro-homosexual indoctrination agenda on all California public schools.
“Realize that SB 777 affects all school ‘instruction’ (textbooks, classroom instruction, homework, videos, and other instructional materials) and every school-sponsored ‘activity’ (sex education classes, school assemblies, dramas, music, dances, proms, sports teams, homecoming games, etc.). To opt out of SB 777, you would have to opt out your child from the entire school day,” said Randy Thomasson, of the Campaign for Children and Families, a California-based pro-family group.
His organization has concluded a state constitutional amendment would be the best way to remove the objectionable requirements, while the Capitol Resource Institute is working on a separate effort to have voters overturn SB 777.
Robert Tyler, the general counsel for Advocates for Faith and Freedom, said the lawsuit his organization has filed challenges the law on the basis it is unconstitutionally vague and violates the privacy of all students, teachers and other people on school campuses.
SB 777 changed in state law the definition of gender to make it now mean “sex,” including a person’s gender identity and gender related appearance and behavior whether or not associated with the person’s “assigned’ sex at birth.
“In short, you are what you think you are regardless of your anatomical makeup,” the advocacy group said.
“This is such a free-flowing idea that every morning you might wake up and choose a gender,” Tyler told WND. “What if a football player starts the game as a male, gets hit, walks off the field and says, ‘I think I’m a female.’”
The lawsuit was filed on behalf of the California Education Committee, a project of California Family Council, by the Advocates for Faith and Freedom as well as lawyers for the Alliance Defense Fund.
It names Schwarzenegger, state Attorney General Edmund Brown Jr., Superintendent of Public Instruction Jack O’Connell and others as defendants.
The plan, which is set to take effect on Jan. 11, 2008, “recklessly abandons the traditional understanding of biological sex in favor of an elusive definition that is unconstitutionally vague,” the lawsuit said.
“This lawsuit facially challenges the redefinition of the term ‘gender’ as it will be impossible for school administrators and educators to know whether they themselves are violating the nondiscrimination provisions of the Education Code or the Penal Code,” it said.
“Additionally, the special treatment intended for a select few students through the enforcement of Senate Bill 777 will result in the violation of the privacy rights of the remainder of students not targeted for special treatment under Senate Bill 777.”
The new law demands, “No teacher shall give instruction nor shall any school district sponsor any activity that promotes a discriminatory bias because of a characteristic [including perceived gender.]”
“The terms ‘mom and dad’ or ‘husband and wife’ could promote discrimination against homosexuals if a same-sex couple is not also featured,” said Meredith Turney, the legislative liaison for Capitol Resource.
“Parents want the assurance that when their children go to school they will learn the fundamentals of reading, writing and arithmetic – not social indoctrination regarding alternative sexual lifestyles. Now that SB 777 is law, schools will in fact become indoctrination centers for sexual experimentation,” she said.
Karen England, chief of the CRI, told WND that the law is not a list of banned words, including “mom” and “dad.” But she said the requirement is that the law bans discriminatory bias and the effect will be to ban such terminology.
“Having ‘mom’ and ‘dad’ promotes a discriminatory bias. You have to either get rid of ‘mom’ and ‘dad’ or include everything when talking about [parental issues],” she said. “They [promoters of sexual alternative lifestyles] do consider that discriminatory.”
“This social experiment defies common sense,” said Tyler. “We wish we had some sort of provision like that in the constitution, that you can’t pass stupid laws.”
“Parents sending their children to public schools are trusting that school officials will protect their children’s safety,” said Ron Prentice, chief executive officers of California Family Council. “It defies logic that schools will be required by law to ignore one’s anatomy. The goal of SB 777 is not to create a gender neutral environment, but to disregard the traditional family, and its beliefs, and respect for a mom and dad raising the kids.”
Thomasson believes a constitutional amendment is the only solution. “A detailed, well-crafted constitutional amendment would wipe out SB 777 and prevent it from ever coming back again, no matter what the politicians or judges desired,” he said.
He also warned it would be best if parents would simply withdraw their children from public schools. “When you can no longer protect your children, you must remove them from a threatening environment,” he said. “Because the equivalent of mental molestation is coming to California public schools, CCF is recommending that California parents who love their children flee to home schools or church-operated private schools.”
CCF poster about SB 777
The legislative plan had been carried by state Sen. Sheila Kuehl, a Democrat who has brought forward similar proposals for several years. Capitol Resource Institute believes it could be defeated by referendum, and that campaign already is well under way.
The legislation Schwarzenegger signed earlier earned the scorn of an international organization promoting families. World Congress of Families Global Coordinator Allan Carlson said the measure is “a blatant attack on the natural family orchestrated by the alternative-lifestyles lobby.”
The World Congress noted the law prohibits “instruction” or “activity” that is perceived to “promote a discriminatory bias” against “gender,” including cross-dressing and sex-change operations as well as “so-called sexual orientation.”
“It will prohibit anything that suggests that the natural family – a man and a woman, married, with children – is normal or typical,” said Carlson. “Thus, under this latest advance toward a Brave New World of polymorphous perversion, California textbooks will no longer be able to use words like ‘mother and father’ and ‘husband and wife,’ because they suggest that heterosexuality is the norm – even though that is manifestly the case, even in California.”
The organization’s statement called it “unbelievable” that teachers and students who oppose same-sex marriage and suggest homosexuality isn’t innate, or disapprove of cross-dressing and sex-change operations, could be disciplined as “harassers,” and students may use the restrooms designated for the gender with which they identify.
While SB 777 provides protections for those promoting alternative lifestyle choices, there are no similar protections for students with traditional or conservative lifestyles and beliefs. Offenders will face the wrath of the state Department of Education, up to and including lawsuits.