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Filed under: FAIR Education Act

Stop SB 48 (FAIR Education Act) Conference Call

For more on what we did last time and what you can do to help defeat attempts to repeal the FAIR Education Act, check out the post here and here -Adam

Cross-posted from LGBTPOV.com

By Karen Ocamb

The title and summary from the California Attorney General’s office for the new Stop SB 48 initiative to repeal the California FAIR Education Act is expected in the next two days, Karen England, Executive Director of the antigay Capitol Resource Institute, announced on a Monday night conference call hosted by Public Awareness Ministries / PreserveLiberty.com.

The call was intended to recruit and rally supporters to the signature-gathering campaign, which England said they intend to kick off mid-January. They have 90 days after receiving the title and summary – expected to be towards the end of April to qualify for the Nov. 2012 ballot. California history has not shown any initiative qualifying in that short period of time with only volunteer signature-gatherers. And while fundraising and the prospective campaign budget was not discussed on the call, there is a button on the Stop SB 48 website that requests that people help “Retire the STOP SB 48 Debit Today!” – indicating that the campaign may not be off to a good financial start.

The initiative – entitled the CLASS Act (Children Learning Accurate Social Sciences) – was submitted to the AG’s office on Dec. 5 and is broader than CRI’s first attempt at a referendum that failed on Oct. 11. According to Stop SB 48 sponsors at their website, this attempt is focused on only repealing the “over-reaching” aspects of the law: Stop SB 48 sponsor Jack Hibbs said it is “unacceptable” to require that schools “shine a spotlight on this lifestyle on the one hand and then demand that history books and teachers censor shortcomings on the other.”

“We drafted an initiative that responds to the perception that some want to ignore the contributions of certain individuals,” said Kevin Snider of Pacific Justice Institute Center for Public Policy. “This initiative prohibits history book exclusion of anybody based on their membership in a protected class. But it requires an accurate, historical portrayal of any individual,”

Text of the initiative and more on the conference call below.

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30 Comments December 20, 2011

FAIR Education Act: Randy Thomasson likens accepting schools to slaughterhouses

By Adam Bink

Via Jeremy Hooper, Save California’s Randy Thomasson likens California children to:

Screen Shot 2011-11-29 At 5.37.46 Pm

[SOURCE]

Because they might learn about Billie Jean King, Bayard Rustin, Harvey Milk and the movement to end “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” when the FAIR Education Act begins to be implemented in January, if it’s not repealed at the ballot next November. Just wow.

Sign up to protect the FAIR Education Act and defeat this nonsense.

32 Comments November 30, 2011

Recapping the week of November 21-25 at Prop8TrialTracker.com

By Jacob Combs

Last week, we started a new tradition–a weekly round-up of what’s happened on Prop8TrialTracker.com.  Here’s what we covered last week:

On Monday, I wrote about the 9th Circuit’s decision to consolidate the main appeal of Perry on the merits with the appeal of the decision denying ProtectMarriage.com’s motion to vacate Judge Walker’s decision based on his relationship status.  AFER’s Matt Baume did his usual video update on the Prop 8 trial, telling us to get ready for a busy holiday season with lots of Perry updates and bringing us news of marriage equality developments in Washington and New Jersey.  Adam wrote about GOP presidential nominee Herman Cain’s unbelievable statement that he would “overturn the Supreme Court if they overturned DOMA” and also brought us a Huffington Post piece about a recent speech made by anti-gay activist Karen England at Calvary Chapel church about her drive to repeal California’s FAIR Education Act.

On Tuesday, Adam linked us to a piece from the political blog of Rhode Island’s NPR station titled “Where Does Jack Reed Stand on DOMA Repeal?” and wondering why Rhode Island’s pro-gay senator has not taken a public stance against DOMA.  Adam also wrote about two new marriage equality ads running in Maine over the Thanksgiving holiday and an ad from the Concerned Women for America attacking California Sen. Dianne Feinstein.

On Wednesday, I published an in-depth overview of the four separate tracks of the Perry case currently making their way through the courts: the merits of the case itself, the issue of standing, the decision regarding the release of the trial recordings and the motion to vacate Judge Walker’s decision.  I laid out the latest updates and included what comes next in terms of each track.  This permanent post will always have the most up-to-date information, and can be found on the right side of the home page in the box that says “Want to know where things stand with the Prop 8 trial?”

On Thursday, we celebrated Thanksgiving with an open thread where anyone could share their thoughts and wishes on the holiday.

On Friday, I wrote a piece about the Servicemembers’ Legal Defense Network’s brief asking for summary judgment in a new DOMA lawsuit they brought in Massachusetts on behalf of eight same-sex military couples.

And on Saturday, I posted about the 9th Circuit’s decision to hold oral arguments on Dec. 8 regarding the motion to vacate Judge Walker’s decision in Perry.

Both parties’ briefs to the 9th Circuit regarding the California Supreme Court’s recent decision that the proponents of Prop 8 do have standing to appeal under California law are due this Friday, Dec. 2.  We will bring you those briefs as soon as they’re submitted to the court, along with our analysis of what they mean for the case.

Remember to follow Equality on Trial on Facebook and on Twitter for more coverage and updates. All P8TT posts are published on Twitter immediately after they go up, so you can get word that way too.  And of course, if you like the coverage we do here, consider tossing a few bucks in the hat to help us do it.

Thanks for reading Prop8TrialTracker.com!

7 Comments November 28, 2011

FAIR Education Act: What happened when Karen England went to Calvary Chapel and what’s coming

By Adam Bink

Karen England is the Executive Director of the Capitol Research Institute, the lead sponsor of the referendum to repeal California’s FAIR Education Act. Earlier this month she spoke at Calvary Chapel church in Chino Hills, CA (where the Stop SB 48 proponents were collecting signatures last time around). For those who missed it, last Thursday Karen and her band of homophobes filed for title and summary to put an initiative on the ballot in California repealing the FAIR Education Act.

Today, mother of two and Courage Campaign Communications Manager Ana Beatriz Cholo blogged at the Huffington Post on what happened when Karen spoke at Calvary Chapel. It provides a little insight into what’s coming up. Click below to read more, and find out how you can help defeat Karen and her cohorts a second time.

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17 Comments November 21, 2011

They’re back: Opponents of FAIR Education Act start process for 2012 ballot initiative

By Adam Bink

Well, as if this day couldn’t get any more hectic, it just did. And, on the subject of California ballot initiatives, funny enough.

Today, the organizations opposing the FAIR Education Act (also known as SB48) requested title and summary from the Attorney General, which is the first step towards placing an initiative on the November 2012 ballot to repeal it. Once they get it, they will have 150 days to collect 504,760 signatures to place the measure on the ballot. We at Courage Campaign expected this coming sooner or later. You may remember the same people tried and failed to qualify the law for a ballot referendum. This is different, and is more or less another shot at the same goal.

The FAIR Education Act is a law taking effect in January which requires schools to integrate factual information about social movements, current events and history of people of color, people with disabilities and LGBT people into existing social studies lessons. It also prevents schools from adopting instructional materials that discriminate.

For some background on this, their chances to get it on the ballot and what you can do to stop it (especially for those who are new here), here’s what I wrote a few weeks ago:

An initiative requires collection of the same number of signatures as a referendum (504,760) but one gets more time in which to get complete the process (90 days for a referendum to get title and summary, collect signatures and turn them in vs. 150 days for an initiative). In addition, for an initiative, the 150-day clock starts after title and summary is received from the attorney general, whereas with a referendum that time counts against the 90 days (meaning one must wait for title and summary before collecting signatures, but the 90-day clock has already started ticking). The initiative must also qualify at least 131 days before the next statewide election at which the sponsor is attempting to qualify the measure — in this case, before November 6, 2012. They also must start from scratch — they cannot use the signatures they collected the first time around. There are also additional deadlines depending on how many signatures are collected and which counting method is used by elections officials to verify signatures.

Translation of all of that. The Stop SB 48 campaign claims they collected 497,404 signatures. Let’s say for the moment that isn’t bluster and it’s accurate. A general rule of thumb on collecting signatures is that a percentage (some say around 20%) are invalid for one reason or another — and that is acknowledged below by the campaign itself. So they fell fairly short, even if they aren’t exaggerating. If they get an extra 60 days to collect signatures, will they make it? Maybe. They are facing some tight deadlines, and a lot of that depends on different factors — how much money they raise this time to employ paid signature-gatherers since (with very, very few exceptions) all-volunteer or mostly volunteer efforts don’t make it; whether, after our successful decline-to-sign campaign was mounted, the public will be fooled by the lies that were and will be told by the campaign; how many resources our side has to fight the effort; whether, after the law takes effect in January, the public and/or people who signed the referendum the first time realizes the sky hasn’t and won’t fall on kids in California schools; on and on.

We’ll be keeping a close eye on this one. It goes without saying that we will need everyone’s help to beat this back a second time. If you haven’t chipped in to our decline-to-sign campaign efforts, please throw some coin in. If you haven’t signed up for updates on the FAIR Education Act and our work to defend it, please do so if you’re interested. Over 12,000 Courage members across California helped beat this back the first time through community education and confronting signature gatherers, along with our coalition partners at EQCA, GSA Network and others. For more on that, check out the link at top. We’ll need everyone’s help again.

The formal request for title and summary can be found here. They simply want to delete “sexual orientation” or “LGBT” wherever they find it in the statute. No kidding.

Needless to say, Courage Campaign, its members and all of you worked hard to keep this off the ballot the first time. They failed, in no small part due to everyone pulling together and telling the truth about what the FAIR Education Act does. Let’s do it again!

It you’re new to Prop8TrialTracker, you can find all our coverage here on the blog regarding the FAIR Education Act and efforts to protect it by clicking here.

Below the click, you can find Courage Campaign’s statement on today’s news.

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27 Comments November 17, 2011

FAIR Education Act takes center stage in Modesto school board election

By Adam Bink

Mylinda Mason is a school board candidate in Modesto, CA who opposes the FAIR Education Act, saying she doesn’t want to introduce any kind of “sexuality” discussion into schools. You know, like Billie Jean King, Bayard Rustin or Harvey Milk.

So her signs were defaced, and she responded by attacking all LGBT people in the area. Modesto Bee:

A school board candidate’s conservative view about homosexuality was the focal point for two opposing groups who waved picket and campaign signs Saturday afternoon during a demonstration at Modesto’s Five Points intersection.

About a dozen people gathered there to protest against Modesto City Schools board candidate Mylinda Mason, who on Facebook angrily denounced people she believes tore down her campaign signs.

In her Facebook posts, Mason called those who damaged her signs “homosexuals and other liberals.” She also wrote: “Militant homosexual groups and pro abortion activists have engaged in this type of behavior for decades, only now attacks are getting even more brazen.”

Sarah Ciccarelli helped organize the protesters who oppose Mason’s campaign. She said Mason will breed intolerance at the school district if she’s elected.

“I do not approve of anyone defacing (campaign) signs,” said Ciccarelli, 20, of Modesto. “But I don’t know why she brought up her beliefs anyway. These beliefs do not belong on a school board.”

Mason said she heard about the planned protest and gathered about 30 supporters to counter their demonstration with one of her own at the same intersection.

“I’m not a homophobe,” Mason said while holding one of her campaign signs. “I don’t hate them one bit.”

Mason said she hates that schools would introduce any type of sexuality discussion, including homosexuality, into curriculum.

The candidate is referring to a new state law that requires schools to include the historical contributions of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people as well as people with disabilities. Beginning Jan. 1, schools must include these contributions in social science instruction.

“This is about that they want to shut me up,” Mason said while pointing to a large campaign sign that was spraypainted with “she hates gays.”

Ciccarelli said her group originally had planned to march along the street where Mason lives, but they decided Five Points would offer more visibility. She said the new state law helps ensure students learn about people of all backgrounds and fosters tolerance for those who are different.

“So they’re not afraid of it,” Ciccarelli said. “So students won’t get bullied because they’re homosexual.”

The protest lasted a few hours with no confrontations. At one point, some demonstrators from each side held their signs on the same corner of the intersection.

Here’s what Mason wrote on her Facebook page:

“Wow…Tough day. The Liberals are going out of their way to attack my positions on the social issues that will largely influence any implementation of mandates as a result of my School Board ‘votes’. My Biblical family values are not up for random change.”

“My signs are being damaged, torn down and stolen all over town by the intolerant left. The threat of a Christian grandmother is more than they can take. I just received the third phone call this morning to let me know about the damage done in the dark of night. Having taken a stand for what is right and true, homosexuals and other liberals want to make me pay a price, if not financially at least emotionally and psychologically. Militant homosexual groups and pro-abortion activists have engaged in this type of behavior for decades, only now attacks are getting even more brazen. MM”

More from this local TV news report.

I don’t know what the outcome of tomorrow’s elections will be, but I’m not sure anyone’s Biblical views, least of all Mylinda Mason’s, belong on a public school board. And someone should tell her that the FAIR Education Act is about teaching diversity and civil rights, not what all the right-wing groups are telling her it’s about.

25 Comments November 7, 2011

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