A broad coalition of advocacy groups have launched a coordinated effort to protect and educate the public on California’s Fair, Accurate, Inclusive and Respectful (FAIR) Education Act, the landmark legislation that requires that the historical contributions of gay, lesbian and transgender Americans to be included in history lessons and classroom textbooks.
Led by Equality California, the Gay-Straight Alliance Network and the California Foundation for Independent Living Centers, the coalition includes people of faith, labor organizations, LGBT rights groups, disability rights advocates, racial justice organizations and many other groups who advocate for equality.
“The movement for LGBT rights is among the most diverse social justice movements in the nation and we are proud to have that diversity represented in our coalition,” said Roland Palencia, Executive Director of Equality California, in a statement.
“Working together to Protect the FAIR Education Act will ensure that students not only learn accurate information about our equality movement, but also about the roles LGBT people have played in movements and historic moments that have fundamentally shaped our nation.”
As part of this campaign, Equality California has released the following video to debunk the falsehoods being foisted on Californians by the anti-gay, hate group Family Research Council, and its president Tony Perkins.
The FAIR Education Act — signed into law by Gov. Jerry Brown on July 14 — 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 law ensures that the contributions of disabled people are included.
Randy Thomasson, president of SaveCalifornia.com, a conservative family group that opposed the measure, said the law constitutes “sexual brainwashing” and “indoctrination.”
Anti-equality advocates, including the Capitol Resource Institute, are circulating petitions for a referendum to ask voters to overturn the Act. They will need to collect over a half million signatures in order to qualify for a referendum on the June 2012 ballot.