Filed under: FAIR Education Act
By Adam Bink
Today, the Stop SB 48 campaign, a few weeks off their failure to qualify a ballot referendum to overturn the FAIR Education Act (SB 48), announced that they are “working on an initiative.” For those not following, the FAIR Education Act requires social science lessons in California to include historical contributions of LGBT people and movements, such as “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” repeal, alongside other civil rights movements and underrepresented minorities.
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 Stop SB 48 campaign e-mail (excerpted) is below and titled “You Won’t Back Down”:
At least that is what many of you are telling us. Our effort to qualify a referendum to overturn SB48, California’s so-called “gay history” bill, came so close to victory but ultimately did not have the signatures. With 504,760 signatures needed, we only came up with 497,404.
It was a remarkable achievement, but not enough.
With the announcement that we could not qualify the referendum, and every day since, we have received inquiries, advice and pleas all pushing us toward another effort to liberate our classrooms from this very bad law.
We hear you and we want California to hear you.
You didn’t back down when the opponents called you names. And you didn’t back down when they made their threats. So why would you stop just because we did not get enough signatures?
To be sure, a referendum was the most direct route to stopping this misguided law in its tracks. The referendum is called the “people’s veto” for a reason. A bill is signed into the law by the Governor. But if the citizens of California can gather enough signatures in 90 days after the Governor signs the legislation, then the law is suspended until the citizens have a chance to vote.
But there are other tools available. An initiative involves a very similar process of gathering signatures, yet the citizens get more time to gather signatures.
We are working on an initiative and will tell you more about that in a number of weeks.
We are also looking into ways to increase our efficiency. Unfortunately a large number of petitions could not be counted because of various errors. Some of the more technical-minded members of our coalition are looking at ways to lower the error rate.
Cross-posted at Good As You
By Jeremy Hooper
In light of his cherished “Stop SB48″ effort’s surprising failure, longtime anti-LGBT voice Randy Thomasson is reinvigorating his call for California’s Christian parents to opt for homeschooling instead. Here’s the reliably offensive rationale:
While some parents may initially find this solution uncomfortable or difficult, my question is this: How much worse does it have to get before you intervene? If a speeding car was on a collision course with your child, wouldn’t you do all you could to rush to rescue your child? And what if you found out someone was planning to sexually molest your child? Nothing could stop you from rescuing your boy or girl. Think about it. If we are so concerned about the physical safety of children, why wouldn’t we also protect their mental, emotional, and spiritual safety? Realize that the raft of school sexual indoctrination mandates imposed on all children in California government schools amounts to mental molestation.
What now, as kids will get ‘LGBT’ role models? [SaveCalifornia.com]
Eh, I’d be more concerned if Randy hadn’t molested his own credibility eons ago.
*REMINDER: Just a few weeks back, NOM’s buddy (and former general counsel) Charles Limandri hosted Thomasson on the radio show that he co-hosts with NOM’s Jennifer Roback Morse. The show that NOM supports with ads: What does NOM sponsor? Have a listen [NOM Exposed]
Cross-posted at Good As You
By Jeremy Hooper
On September 30, it was as “critically important” as NOM’s Prop 8 signature collection efforts.
On October 5, it was a “last chance” to stand against inclusive “force.”
On October 6 the push was “historic,” with “success” the only acceptable option.
I’m talking about the concerted effort to stop inclusive teaching in California’s public schools — the National Organization for Marriage was ALL OVER IT:
So it’s very interesting that NOM, despite the supposedly high stakes and the apparent need to waste “protect marriage” capital on a matter that has nothing to do with marriage itself, hasn’t uttered a peep in the days since this “Stop SB48″ effort failed. Not a blog post. Not a press release. No social media outreach. Not an e-blast thanking supporters for the attempt. Nothing. NOM is acting as if it never happened.
Oh, but we know. We know that NOM, an organization supposedly focused on one particular issue, showed its hand and proved that its fight goes far beyond just the matter of marriage. We know that NOM thought it could step in and create another Prop 8 situation, further dividing the state for their own gain. We know that NOM was willing to make a case against teaching that accurately reflects the entire population in a state that doesn’t currently have marriage equality, even though this organization bases most all of its state marriage campaigns on the idea that marriage is the hinge that will determine such teaching.
We know what they said and did. And so does the historical record, which will remain intellectually pure even if a defeated NOM thinks a silent broom can sweep it all under their own, reliably deceptive rug.