The battle in California over a new state law that would mandate a positive – and no other – portrayal of bisexuals, homosexuals, transgenders and others choosing alternative sexual lifestyles in public schools has moved into a campaign for an initiative.
Officials with Save Our Kids made the announcement yesterday after confirming that their effort to obtain 434,000 signatures for a referendum fell short, coming up with 350,000 names.
“For a completely volunteer-driven campaign to obtain this number of signatures is unheard of,” said Karen England, director of the Save Our Kids campaign, and executive director of Capitol Resource Family Impact.
“We had to overcome incredible difficulties during our signature gathering, including the holidays, and the results are astonishing,” she said.
However, the state requirement of 434,000 valid voter signatures for a referendum addressing SB 777 to be put on the 2008 election ballots means the campaign now will begin addressing the requirements for an initiative.
“While we didn’t reach the threshold of required signatures, we have surprised political observers with the amazing amount of signatures we gathered in just 70 days. It is unheard of for a volunteer-only effort to find this kind of support, especially in a state as large as California.”
She said the high level of support that is apparent prompted the group to file an initiative with the state attorney general to overturn the new law.
“This initiative will give us double the amount of time to gather signatures, while accomplishing the same goal of eliminating the extreme policies of SB 777,” she said. “Many California citizens are just now finding out about SB 777 and are outraged. By filing an initiative, we will give even more citizens the opportunity to voice their anger over the passage of this radical bill.”
Co-chairs of the campaign have included state Sen. George Runner and Assembly members Joel Anderson, Bob Huff, Doug La Malfa, Sharon Runner, Audra Strickland as well as legislative candidates Dennis Mountjoy, Larry Dick and Jim Nelson.
Organizations participating in or endorsing the effort have included Focus on the Family, Capitol Resource Institute, California Eagle Forum, California Family Council, Christian Educators Association International, California Republican Assembly, Concerned Women for America-California, Family Leaders Network Pacific Justice Institute and several other prominent groups.
WND has reported that the plan to establish SB777 as state law was supported by organizations recommending homosexual literature to children as young as age 2.
A list of school resources, sponsored by a homosexual-advocacy group called Safe Schools Coalition, suggests that for those who are only two years old, there’s “Felicia’s Favorite Story,” which tells how she was “adopted by her two mothers.”
The list also promotes a book called “Are You a Girl or a Boy?” by Karleen Jiminez, a resource for children ages 4-8 when advocating homosexuality, bisexuality, transgenderism and other alternative lifestyle choices.
It’s described as “A sweet book about a gender-different kid.”
Other resources being promoted in light of California’s adoption of SB 777 as state law include books authored by officials for Planned Parenthood and the Gay Lesbian Straight Education Network.
One book, called “Tackling Gay Issues in School,” is for kindergarten through grade 12, and offers a “rationale (for the inclusion of les/bi/gay/trans issues in school).” It features recommended “extracurricular” activities for classes.
The promotion of such materials has coincided with the recent admission by Equality California, a homosexual advocacy group that worked to have SB 777 passed by lawmakers and signed by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, that the bill really does edit all school curricula in California.
For months while California lawmakers discussed Senate Bill 777, opponents worried about its usefulness in censoring public school curricula to include a pro-homosexual bias. Supporters, however, steadfastly maintained that it only clarified anti-discrimination laws already on the books. They still hold that stance, with recent statements from both Schwarzenegger’s office and Equality California.
Sabrina Lockhart, a spokeswoman for the governor, insisted it is a “technical bill” intended to clarify anti-discriminations laws.
“It simply takes anti-discrimination language used in other areas of [state law] such as employment and puts that in the education code,” she said.
And Ali Bay of Equality California told WND the new law “doesn’t require that any specific curriculum be included in California’s classrooms.”
Technically it is correct that the law doesn’t “require inclusion.” But opponents say it does now ban anything that can be “perceived” as being discriminatory, up to and including references to “mom” and “dad” or “husband” and “wife.”
“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 Institute.
“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.
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.]”
“All along, Capitol Resource Family Impact has maintained that the true agenda behind SB 777 is to infuse school curriculum with pro-homosexual, and other controversial lifestyles, propaganda. The proponents of the bill countered that this was not true and the law would merely ‘streamline’ anti-discrimination laws for schools. Based on our 20-year experience with the homosexual lobby, we know that a common tactic is to maintain innocence and then utilize vague language to push a radical agenda. We expected the same of SB 777 and we are already witnessing the same pattern,” England said.
WND already has reported how the Gay Straight Alliance has forwarded instructions to its California chapters with information on how to make sure homosexuality is taught in public schools, and its warning having students and parents simply “tolerate” homosexuality is not enough.
“Tolerance education is an important first step, but we need to push further,” the instructions said. “Infuse LGBTQ curriculum into history, social science, and literature classes,” is the organization’s plan.
WND also has reported how thousands of requests for information about homeschooling and Christian school are bombarding organizations that support those efforts.
A spokeswoman for a ministry called Considering Homeschooling said she already has seen an overwhelming increase in requests for information about homeschooling.
As a result, spokeswoman Denise Kanter told WND that her group is sending out 5,000 DVD packages to churches around the state that include basic “how-to” information to provide parents a direction to turn when they choose to protect their children from the new school agenda.
Another group’s website, Discover Christian Schools, has been getting almost 4,000 visits per day as parents seek alternatives, co-founder Harold Naylor Jr. said.
The non-profit Advocates for Faith and Freedom also has filed a lawsuit challenging a SB 777.