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Friday, April 15, 2011

MSNBC - California Could Become First State To Teach Gay History

Bill requiring gay history lessons passes California senate. Tamron Hall talks with state senator Mark Leno (D-San Francisco).

Great news! Yesterday, with support from thousands of you, the California Senate passed the FAIR Education Act (SB 48, authored by Sen. Mark Leno), 23-14!
Your letters, emails and phone calls helped your senators understand how critical it is that all students are given the opportunity to learn about the contributions of LGBT people in school. They know that when young people learn about the diverse contributions of many different groups, incidents of harassment and bullying drop -- and schools become safer for all students.
We are thankful for Senator Leno’s leadership, the work of the Gay-Straight Alliance Network and your support, but this fight isn’t over yet. We need your support today to build support for this bill in the California Assembly and protect the rights of LGBT youth.
Yesterday’s vote has the most radical opponents of LGBT equality re-invigorated and working hard to sway legislators from supporting this bill. Their attacks are not surprising, but we have to respond as a community. Our legislators care about what their constituents want and say. We cannot let our voices be drowned out by their hatred.
Here’s what our legislators are hearing from the other side:
  • A local church in Napa County is claiming that SB 48 “intends to play with the minds of all California's students; even as young as Kindergarten! …You are turning teachers into state-sanctioned propagandists by forcing them to teach our youth about sexual lifestyles that parents do not want taught.”
  • Randy Thomason and claim that the goal of the FAIR Education Act is “sexual brainwashing, behind the backs of parents, teaching boys and girls to admire those who engage in homosexual, bisexual, or transsexual behavior.”
  • Ron Prentice and the California Family Council are claiming that “Senator Leno's intention with SB 48 is to increase every public school student's exposure to the homosexual lifestyle, while disallowing any accurate but potentially unfavorable content to be included in the related curriculum.”
  • Even national organizations are joining the attack. WorldNetDaily calls the bill a “lesbians-as-role-models plan.”
We have to counter them. Make a contribution today to help us protect LGBT youth. We're getting expert witnesses such as school board members, teachers, students and school psychologists to Sacramento to defend against the bizarre claims of the radical right, who will be out in full force every time this bill is heard.
Passing SB 48 will be difficult, but thanks to your advocacy, the bill has made it this far. We can’t stop now. Give today to help us fend off their attacks and ensure that every kid in California can feel safe and respected at our schools.
Thanks for all you do for equality,

Jim Carroll
Interim Executive Director
Equality California


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