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Making it official, Stop SB 48 campaign concedes defeat

FAIR Education Act

By Adam Bink

But thanks for playing, Family Research Council and co. We’ll be ready again for you next round.

Campaign to repeal Calif. LGBT-history law fails, battle not over

Stop SB 48, one of the leading committees trying to repeal a new California law that, starting next year, will require schools to teach historical contributions made by lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered individuals and people with disabilities, has failed to repeal the law through a ballot referendum.

Wednesday, 90 days after California Gov. Jerry Brown signed Senate Bill 48 in to law, was the last day to file 504,750 valid, signed petitions with the state. Stop SB 48 organizers announced their failure to gather enough signatures in an email to subscribers titled, “We Fought the Law and the Law Won,” in which they also state plans to keep fighting LGBT-oriented legislation:

While we did not overturn this very bad law, we built a small army of dedicated volunteers that collected an incredible amount of signatures. There will be a next battle. Despite the overuse of the term “tolerance”, there is little tolerance for those who do not endorse the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender lifestyles. And there will be more laws passed that advocate for these and attempt to silence any opposition.

SB 48 opponents will have other opportunities to overturn the law, not through a repeal referendum, but through either a ballot initiative or a constitutional amendment — options which demand even more signatures and, consequently, more money than repealing the law by referendum. Karen England, president of the Capitol Resource Institute and leader of the Stop SB 48 campaign (the two entities share an address), could not be immediately reached for comment.

Brad Dacus, president of the Pacific Justice Institute, which has worked with Stop SB 48 to overturn the education law, told The American Independent the effort to overturn SB 48 will continue. Dacus admitted a major obstacle to gathering signatures was lack of money and resources, but he said he was impressed with how far the group got.

“No matter how it turns out, one thing is clear,” Dacus said early Wednesday, when it was unknown whether Stop SB 48 qualified for the referendum. “A broad diversity of parents up and down the state of California actually posed a viable threat to repeal legislation without one dollar paid for signature-gatherers.”

He credited a Los Angeles Times editorial from April for a large part of the public opposition to SB 48. The editorial stated its opposition to the bill based on the belief that educators, not politicians, should write textbooks.

In June, the LA Times published another article on SB 48, claiming groups against the legislation for ideological reasons, such as Catholics for the Common Good, were misrepresenting the paper’s position:

Although the editorial board also opposes the bill, it’s not because these additions would shatter a child’s image of marriage. It’s because the board doesn’t want to see education politicized. In other words: Politicians shouldn’t be in the business of writing textbooks.

Dacus said he opposes SB 48 because it amounted to indoctrination of California’s children and because it is based on subjection, politics and speculation.

“This legislation requires subjective speculation of who in history [was] engaged in homosexual conduct. It will necessitate speculation of who in history was allegedly homosexual or transgender or not,” he said, claiming that a high school in Los Angeles has attempted to “pigeonhole” Abraham Lincoln as a gay man.


Rick Jacobs, founder of the Courage Campaign, a multi-issue advocacy group based in Los Angeles, told TAI he was not surprised that Stop SB 48 failed in its first repeal attempt, and he compared the groups in charge to “rightwing fringe groups equivalent to the Westboro Baptist Church.”

“The entirety of this campaign has been about lies and fear,” Jacobs said.

He said Courage Campaign enlisted 15,000 people to monitor Stop SB 48 signature solicitors throughout the state. The group has filed a complaint against Stop SB 48 with the state attorney general after one monitor discovered a campaigner trying to attract signatures by claiming the petition was to prevent child molestation.

Watch the video:

Advocacy group Equality California has also filed a complaint with the state’s ethics board in protest of Stop SB 48′s campaign practices.

“We’re going to remain vigilant,” Jacobs said. “If [SB 48 opponents] decide to try again, we will be there.”

And thanks again to all of you who volunteered, contributed, confronted signature-gatherers, and spread the truth about what the FAIR Education Act is and does.

The law will take effect in January, and we at Courage will keep our eye on more efforts to repeal it. For now, history stays fair, inclusive, and accurate!


  • 1. Bob  |  October 12, 2011 at 7:22 pm

    amazing!!!!!!!! over the top,,,, that people even have to play these games, to begin with,,,,,,, really an example of RELIGION GONE BAD/////////////// keep up the good fight,,,,

  • 2. FlexSF  |  October 12, 2011 at 10:53 pm

    Anti-gay Christianity is totally fucked up. The Pope is an asshole, and the bible thumping, anti-gay lunatics are hung up to the point of constipation, on everyone's sexuality, but their own. Get a god-damn life!

  • 3. Tasty Salamanders  |  October 13, 2011 at 4:34 am

    And didn't they previously claim they did have enough signatures? Actually on thinking about it they probably though saying that would convince us to stop trying to convince people to not sign the petition. Lying for Jesus people.

  • 4. Sagesse  |  October 13, 2011 at 5:05 am

    “Significant” hiring discrimination, study shows

  • 5. Gregory in SLC  |  October 13, 2011 at 5:23 am

    and, AMEN! @ Lying for Jesus people

  • 6. Ronnie  |  October 13, 2011 at 7:15 am

    Subscribing & sharing…..

    Shaquille O'Neal, Kristin Chenoweth and more amplify their voice against anti-LGBT bullying (video)….. <3…Ronnie:
    [youtube J6wbmrJZ7lE&sns=fb youtube]

  • 7. DaveP  |  October 13, 2011 at 7:59 am

    It's so good to see that the tactic of "we'll just tell a lot of nasty lies about gays to get the public to help us oppress them" is finally not working. Of course, we still have to keep fighting, and I'm sure the bigots will get even more reckless and irresponsible as they get more desperate, but it's still nice to see that the shifting public opinion is finally starting to show some real, tangible results. It will be a great day when we can actually read the true, factual stories of Harvey Milk and other important LGBT figures in high school history text books.

  • 8. Adam Bink  |  October 13, 2011 at 9:21 am

    Please cut the insults and foul language.

  • 9. Sheryl_Carver  |  October 13, 2011 at 12:07 pm

    From StopSB48's email today:

    497,404 504,760

    The first number is the number of signatures received by Stop SB48. The second number is the number of signatures needed to qualify the referendum.

  • 10. Straight Dave  |  October 13, 2011 at 12:56 pm

    That's way too close for comfort. Was that the unofficial StopSB48 count prior to any vetting or state certification? I thought they were targetting something like 750,000 to make sure they had enough "valid" signatures.

    My vague understanding is that there would be a higher signature threshold for a similar, but brand new, initiative next year that's completely disconnected from this special 90-day "people's veto". Anybody know what that might be and what the relevant timeframe is?

  • 11. Sheryl_Carver  |  October 13, 2011 at 1:13 pm

    Don't know, Dave, but guessing it's unofficial. I doubt there's been any time to vet the signatures. Am guessing that the StopSB48 folks realized they didn't have enough, even if ALL the signatures were valid.

    I have no idea what the threshold or timeline might be for another attempt in 2012, but hope that, whatever it is, they will fail again. Once SB48 is in effect in January & the sky doesn't fall & nobody's kid "turns gay" because of it, one can hope that another attempt to repeal it would fail miserably. But then I thought that would be true about marriage equality, yet Prop 8 passed. Bleah.

    Proves that we can never, ever, be complacent.

  • 12. Chris in Lathrop  |  October 13, 2011 at 2:49 pm

    So, how many of the 497,404 signatures (whether valid or not) were obtained through the lies proffered by the signature gatherers? Anybody know the status of the complaints we've lodged against them?

  • 13. Mark M. (Seattle)  |  October 13, 2011 at 3:41 pm


  • 14. Mark  |  October 14, 2011 at 10:00 am

    I agree. It takes us two steps backwards when such words are used. My late father always told me, “You can catch more flies with honey.” Please do not give the anti-gay faction any more ammunition than they feel they already have against us. We need not pour gasoline on the fire.

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