Conservatives Crusading To Repeal California’s LGBT History Law

GLF California Governor Jerry Brown made history Thursday by signing legislation that includes LGBT contributions in the states' social studies curricula.

One day later, the social conservative group Capital Resource Institute, a long-time opponent of inclusive history, launched a petition to overturn the law.

From the San Francisco Chronicle:

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

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 his group will hold a press conference on Wednesday to further explain their crusade.

But Mark Leno, the openly gay state senator who introduced the law, predicts CRI's intiative will fail: "I think it will be a challenge for them to get the signatures."

Let's hope so.


  1. Abel says

    Don’t kid yourself, they’ll have NO trouble collecting the signatures. The number of ignorant and bigoted people who will sign anything invoking religion is unbelievable.

  2. MichaelD1026 says

    Teaching about gays and lesbians as PEOPLE? That’s wrong! Rescinding the legal right of gays and lesbians to marry in California, as promoted by theocratic bigots? Definitely wrong! When will they learn that making laws prohibit me to be myself is most definitely wrong? Gays and lesbians will not go away. I have been a gay man for 60 years; no law can force me into a heterosexual relationship. STOP TRYING!! It won’t work!

  3. daftpunkydavid says

    sorry but this is such a waste of energy in my opinion. i get the positive consequences, i do. and i get that in california, most of the other minority groups have lobbied for passage of similar laws. but this is just such a waste of energy. if they wanna go ahead and waste money and time on collecting signatures and having a campaign go for it.
    in my mind, marriage will have a lot of the similar positive consequences, that is if we are able to get it in california. and if the opposition is too stupid to be squandering their resources, vast as they may be, on stupid campaigns, then it’s that much energy that won’t be spent fighting against our right to marry.

  4. Howard says

    They may be able to get this on the ballot, but I don’t see how they are going to get this to pass a constitutional challenge. This is clearly based on animus towards the GLBT community. I don’t see this getting very far. Of course I was wrong about Prop 8 too.

  5. Jollysocks says

    They said the Prop 8 backers wouldn’t get their signatures and they did. Then they passed the marriage ban by saying that your kids are going to be taught gay rights in school. So, this new law will be an easy target for them.

    I understand the good behind this law, but at a time when we are still fighting to get back marriage equality in CA, I fear this may prove to be a distraction.

  6. Redebbm says

    Proposition 8 Part Deux. This time we have to fight back harder than ever. I knew they were going to threaten a challenge.

    This will end up on our ballot, probably as a constitutional amendment so the courts can’t overturn. I love CA but our direct democracy proposition system is a mess. There is a reason we have a mostly Republic system.

  7. johnn says

    I don’t understand. Isn’t there litigation and Constitutional issues that can prevent that bill from making it into the ballot or being enacted in case of passing?

  8. Chris says

    I’ll be very interested to see the ballot language they are using. You cannot create a law that targets a specific group of people unless there is a definite government interest. In Prop 8, they phrased the marriage laws to be “man and woman” instead of “not gays” to try to circumvent this and that is currently under a court challenge.

    To repeal this bill, I would imagine they would have to include very wide language that could potentially affect teaching about other minority groups or they would have a bill specifically prohibiting teaching about LGBT people, which would pretty much be unconstitutional on its face.

  9. Mark says

    Why would they have trouble collecting signatures? This issue is EXACTLY what got Prop 8 passed. All research shows that up until five weeks before the November election of 2008 we had a slim majority supporting gay marriage in California. After five weeks of loud screaming through ads about how children are going to learn about gays at school, all of that had changed, as we witnessed at the ballot box.

    Straight people with no way of relating to gays have changed their attitudes toward gay marriage, but definitely not on this issue. Whereas before gay marriage was opposed, right now the attitude is “ok, they can marry but I don’t want any of THEM near me and my children.” This attitude is gonna be the hardest to overcome. Support for gay marriage merely indicates indifference (as opposed to outright opposition). It does NOT translate into general acceptance.

    That being said, it’s very easy to predict how this is going to go: the path of Prop 8. They’ll get this on the ballot and they’ll pass it. The federal courts will overthrow it. Except this time we’ll have an easier time beating them in federal court because it’s harder for them to show any real government interest in this measure other than animus toward gay people.

  10. Rin says

    @Mark is right

    What the anti-marriage and fence sitting straights have said was that 1) first gays get the right to marry, then 2) it will be taught in schools–which was their argument.

    They didn’t want gay marriage because they didn’t want their kids being taught about unique families while in elementary school.

    Oddly, on the GLBT side…their advocates used to “poo poo” that way to placate them and say, “All we want is equal rights. They’re been silly”.

    Lots of distrust on both sides now. I think gays will get equal legal rights, but it will go the way of other minorities with long issues of hostility until the personal segregation stops and people get to know each other.

  11. Attmay says

    We need to stop letting them control the debate.

    Yes, we want gay rights and gay history taught in school. Yes, we want gay sex taught in sex education. Because those are GOOD THINGS that need to be taught. If blacks get their own history month, we should get one. If heterosexual sex is allowed to be taught in schools, gay sex should be required to be provided by request to any student who asks for it.

    They should include a class in Heterosexual History:

    The Crusades
    The Spanish Inquisition
    The Western Slave Trade
    Jim Crow Laws
    The Ukranian Famine
    The Rape of Nanking
    The Nazi Holocaust
    The Great Leap Forward
    The Killing Fields
    7/7 London Bombings

  12. Rin says


    now you are being unfair and making my point about sexuality being superfluous to history.

    Did potentially being gay make Alexander the Great a murdering, war-mongering tyrant? Did it make many of the Nazi’s vicious and cruel?

    Gay history is Harvey Milk’s gay rights campaigns, it is not a gay person doing something historical.

  13. Paul says

    It would be interesting to read the ballot language. The California Supreme Court has ruled that gays and lesbians are a suspect class and I doubt they would be as agreeable to this ballot initiative as they were to Proposition 8 (especially after the proponents stood in court and said that gays and lesbians never had to defend themselves against ballot initiatives in California anymore). The next election is in 2012. When does the new law take affect?

    PS: It looks like all those people who voted against Proposition 8 so that their children wouldn’t be taught that gays exist are kinda screwed.

  14. Paul says

    Well, It looks like it’s a referendum, not an initiative, so the people of California would be voting on whether to affirm or deny the “FAIR Education Act” (seems like a tough sell). Additionally, the act will be included in the ballot materials, and was smartly written. I can’t imagine many Californian’s voting against the first paragraph which says “Instruction in social sciences shall include the early history of California and a study of the role and contributions of both men and women, Native Americans, African Americans, Mexican Americans, Asian Americans, Pacific Islanders, European Americans, lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgcnder Americans, persons with disabilities, and members of other ethnic and cultural groups, to the economic, political, and social development of California and the United States of America, with particular emphasis on portraying the role of these groups in contemporary society.”

    They are going to face an uphill battle. Over $1 million to the paid signature gatherers, and you have to convince all the minorities in California to veto a bill that makes sure that their contributions are taught in local schools. I can’t imagine NOM hopping into this fight as that would blow their “really, we aren’t anti-gay” cover.”

    As a Californians that was utterly devastated by Proposition 8’s passage, I say bring this one on.

  15. Mrs. Calloway says

    I won’t even start this post about my Baptist/Christian religion. What I will start with is that I can not believe our governor is overturning what the state of california obviously finds offensive and unacceptable. We voted no on gay marriage, but you think we want our children to know about same gender relationships? I will teach my child about relationships my way, that is not for Gov. Jerry Brown to decide or any LGBT group to decide either. Not against gay folks, but I am against forcing the topic on my child.