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Conservative group seeks voter referendum to overturn California’s LGBT history law

Monday, July 18, 2011

A California-based conservative group on Friday filed documents seeking to place a voter referendum on the 2012 ballot to overturn a new state law that would require public schools to include the historical contributions of LGBT Americans in history lessons and classroom materials.

Paulo Sibaja

The proponent of the proposed referendum, Paulo Sibaja, filed a request for a title and summary with the attorney general’s office.

Sibaja said he acted on behalf of the Capitol Resource Institute, which had officially opposed the bill throughout the legislative process before Gov. Jerry Brown signed it Thursday. Sibaja is the legislative director of that organization.

The Capitol Resource Institute is a hard-line, socially conservative organization that has long opposed efforts in California to expand rights for the LGBT population. Backers eventually would have to collect 433,971 signatures to allow voters to decide whether to keep the law in place or reject it.

Sibaja said that a coalition has formed behind the proposed measure, though he would not name the other members. He said a news conference Wednesday would give more details.

The bill — known as the FAIR (Fair, Accurate, Inclusive and Respectful) Education Act — would would bring classroom instruction into alignment with existing non-discrimination laws in California and would add LGBT to the existing list of underrepresented cultural and ethnic groups, which are covered by current law related to inclusion in textbooks and other instructional materials.

In addition to including the role and contributions of LGBT Americans in educational materials, the bill also adds sexual orientation to the state’s existing anti-discrimination protections that prohibit bias in school activities, instruction and instructional materials.

State Sen. Mark Leno (D-San Francisco), who authored the legislation, called Sibaja’s group “extremist” and added, “I think it will be a challenge for them to get the signatures.”

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Filed under: California

17 more reader comments:

  1. If you don’t like it, there are private schools… #justsayin

    Posted on Monday, July 18, 2011 at 4:28pm
  2. this stuff is gonna keep happening until we get equal rights on the FEDERAL level

    Posted on Monday, July 18, 2011 at 4:28pm
  3. We’ll be ready for them this time.

    Posted on Monday, July 18, 2011 at 4:29pm
  4. Ugh, this better not be Prop. 8 all over again.

    Posted on Monday, July 18, 2011 at 4:29pm
  5. Of course they are seeking to overturn it, they want to be the supreme rulers of the country they dont want anyone else to have access to history other than what they deem appropriate..

    Posted on Monday, July 18, 2011 at 4:34pm
  6. Anything with a brain knows that is WAY discriminatory for education!!! But what do you expect from people who have Bibles as brains and that’s it?

    Posted on Monday, July 18, 2011 at 4:36pm
  7. Hater.

    Posted on Monday, July 18, 2011 at 4:40pm
  8. So now the crazies want to make it against the law to even talk about the LGBTQ community. Maybe if they spent some time actually fixing some problems instead of trying to silence people they don’t like our country would much better off.

    Posted on Monday, July 18, 2011 at 4:41pm
  9. The initiative process needs to be OVERHAULED. Hiram Johnson would be appalled at this. Conservative voters don’t like something so now they want to go ahead and put it to a public vote. I think acts of the courts and legislature should not be put to a vote by the people.

    I also think that the initiative process should be finally ratified by a 2/3 majority. That could kill some nonsensical initiatives from coming to the ballot

    Posted on Monday, July 18, 2011 at 5:45pm
  10. The problem is that in CA the initiative process is now being used to overturn just about every single law that is unpopular. So I guess minority rights are now subject to a vote…CA Legislature needs to overhaul this thing soon

    Posted on Monday, July 18, 2011 at 5:47pm
  11. Ballot initiatives are stupid

    Posted on Monday, July 18, 2011 at 5:50pm
  12. Let’s see how long it takes for the Catholic church, the Mormon church and Saddleback Church to raise millions of dollars to hire signature gatherers to qualify this to get on the ballot. Seems like the Prop 8 battle all over again! And I’m sure that the anti-equality groups will start their scary commercials telling voters that if they don’t ban lgbt history education, then it’s the end of the world! I really hope that our lgbt leaders have learned their lessons from Prop 8.

    Posted on Monday, July 18, 2011 at 5:54pm
  13. Boooooooo

    Posted on Monday, July 18, 2011 at 6:14pm
  14. so they’re saying that just because they were gay their contributions are not allowed to be showed publically & be praised? they’re saying that all their hard work should be ignored just because they were gay? that’s appalling & unhumane.

    Posted on Monday, July 18, 2011 at 7:12pm
  15. Yawn…so the voters repeal it, and then the referendum is challenged in court and is unconstitutional…

    Posted on Monday, July 18, 2011 at 8:37pm
  16. Why are these people wasting money on these frivolious cases?! Aren’t their some needy famlies in america who need help? What kind of people are these?! Where are their priorities???

    Posted on Tuesday, July 19, 2011 at 3:49am
  17. I feel like I am back in the middle ages instead of the 21st century. my god

    Posted on Tuesday, July 19, 2011 at 8:38am