July 27, 2011
>Help Keep California’s FAIR Education Act on the Books
By Public Policy Intern Noel Gordon
Two weeks ago, the State of California made history (yet again) by enacting the Fair, Accurate, Inclusive and Respectful (FAIR) Education Act. Signed into law by Governor Jerry Brown, the bill ensures that California schools will soon start integrating the history of the LGBT Civil Movement into basic social science instruction. The new law also prohibits discrimination against LGBT people in the creation of course materials. The bill’s passage garnered support from a wide variety of organizations, including the California Teachers Association, California Church IMPACT and Californians for Disability Rights. But despite all this, there are still some anti-LGBT activists who would like nothing more than to shove the LGBT Civil Rights Movement back into the closet.
Look no further than Paulo Sibaja, President of the socially conservative Capitol Resource Institute. CRI has recently submitted paperwork asking California voters to overturn the FAIR Education Act – a law passed by both Chambers of the California state legislature and signed by the Governor. Mr. Sibaja argues the FAIR Education Act “will teach children as young as five to not only accept but also endorse transgenderism, bisexuality, and homosexuality.” But you and I both know that nothing could be further from the truth! Much like teachers already do with the African-American Civil Rights Movement, and the Women’s Suffrage Movement, the FAIR Education Act ensures that students in California will be taught about the many contributions made to America by LGBT Americans such as Harvey Milk, James Baldwin, Virginia Woolf and Del Martin.
The California Attorney General has validated their request, and now anti-LGBT activists will have 90-days to gather nearly 500,000 signatures in order to qualify their proposal for next year’s November ballot. And much like they did with Proposition 8, our opponents are eager to undo many of the steps California has taken toward achieving full equality.
GLSEN Executive Director Eliza Byard discussed the importance of the FAIR Education Act and how it affects the rest of the country at the recent Safe Schools Media Summit in Los Angeles. Watch below.
Now is the time to act! We need to do everything we can to ensure that the FAIR Education Act remains on the books for years to come.
In fact, there are three things you can do RIGHT NOW to help make that happen:
People like you were responsible for making the FAIR Education Act a reality! Now it is up to you to help keep it that way!