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Stop SB 48 campaign: “We’re working on an initiative”

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.



  • 1. Alan_Eckert  |  November 1, 2011 at 2:09 pm

    Let's do it all again =/

  • 2. Ann S.  |  November 1, 2011 at 2:12 pm

    Stop the Initiative!

  • 3. peterplumber  |  November 1, 2011 at 2:18 pm

    Uggg, don't these people understant that the reason they didn't get enough signatures is because no one cares about this issue??

  • 4. Michael Herman  |  November 1, 2011 at 2:39 pm

    Don't like it? Send your kids to a private Christian school. Problem solved.

    Even though as an Atheist I believe it to be child abuse to force-feed children lies and make them believe in pure fantasy.

  • 5. rocketeer500  |  November 1, 2011 at 2:46 pm

    Call me a skeptic, but if you just do the math, I don't know how StopSB48 will suceed. First, as a skeptic I don't believe they are telling the truth, but even if they are, they would need 504,760 signatures, and with typical 20% – 25% overage, that means they'll need at minimum, approx. 605,712 signatures before filing with the state. Saying it another way, if they used their 150 days, they would have to collect almost 4,040 signatures a day to achieve their goal! I'm not saying it's impossible for Stop SB48 to gather the necessary signatures, and I have no doubts that many churches and other anti-gay organizations would help with the effort, I'm just saying it doesn't look good for them.

    Second, and to be honest, the 20% -25% is just a rough estimate. If the Secretary of State suspects fraud, they will up the percentage, which in turn could force Stop SB48 to have to gather upwards of 650,000 or more.

    What bothers me the most is that if StopSB48 doesn't suceed in 2012, they'll be at it again in 2014.

  • 6. Carol  |  November 1, 2011 at 2:55 pm

    They couldn't get the last lousy 7000 signatures they needed (assuming 100% validity) but they're convinced they'll be able to do better next time?

  • 7. Ronnie  |  November 1, 2011 at 3:00 pm

    Albert Einstein's ghost is laughing at those unlettered provincial dunces…. just saying…. <3…Ronnie

  • 8. Alan_Eckert  |  November 1, 2011 at 3:08 pm

    Who the heck is Gage Raley?

  • 9. Alan_Eckert  |  November 1, 2011 at 3:11 pm

    All I can see is this LinkedIn profile

  • 10. Alan_Eckert  |  November 1, 2011 at 3:20 pm

    We're in for a treat! This is a section title:


  • 11. Alan_Eckert  |  November 1, 2011 at 3:24 pm

    He even goes to evolutionary theory apparently.

  • 12. Alan_Eckert  |  November 1, 2011 at 3:26 pm

    Gage Raley files a seriously late amicus brief:

    (this is the one I just started talking about)

  • 13. Alan_Eckert  |  November 1, 2011 at 3:36 pm

    The lower court, however, held that same-sex unions “encompass thehistorical purpose and form of marriage” without consulting any of the historical sources the Supreme Court finds authoritative. Rather, it based its findings primarily on testimony from a history professor. 25

    25: extensively citing historian Nancy Cott


  • 14. Bob  |  November 1, 2011 at 4:12 pm

    That doesn't even make sense. Until the era of DNA testing, paternity could not be proven. We're talking…what? the past 20 years or so? How is that historical? Of course the courts, at least in CA, and increasingly elsewhere (and I believe that includes SCOTUS on other marriage-related cases) have ruled that procreation is not pertinent to the right to marry. So what they have left is pretty much BS.

    And anyway, what does that have to do with SB 48? These folks are pathetic.

  • 15. Alan_Eckert  |  November 1, 2011 at 4:14 pm

    Nothing with SB 48. It's the latest submittal in the Prop 8 trial, though not from any of the official legal teams.

  • 16. Longestest Lurker  |  November 1, 2011 at 4:15 pm

    What ever became of the fraud claims submitted to the DA (or was it the S of State, or FPPC)?

  • 17. Paul  |  November 1, 2011 at 4:37 pm

    Still failing to see how they could possibly word an initiative to repeal only the portions of the "FAIR Education Act" that would only affect the teaching of the history of gays and lesbians AND be found constitutional by the CA Supreme Court. Otherwise they have to repeal the whole thing including the sections about hispanics and disabled Americans. I don't think there's enough 'spin' in the world to make that fly.

  • 18. Prop 8 Trial Tracker &raq&hellip  |  November 1, 2011 at 4:40 pm

    […] Alan E asks in the comments, who is Gage Raley (from Japan?) It’s a good question, but here’s the brief Gage filed […]

  • 19. Adam Bink  |  November 1, 2011 at 4:44 pm

    Our staff is still following up with them, believe it or not.

  • 20. Paul  |  November 1, 2011 at 5:09 pm

    According to him, an infertile husband is the father of his wife's child despite the fact that it's impossible and quite insane for the law to assume such a thing. Similarly, a married gay couple would be the mother/father to any child that they either of them had while married. It's really not too hard to figure out.

  • 21. Fr. Bill  |  November 1, 2011 at 6:30 pm

    He went to great schools. But, then again, the Unibomber went to Harvard and Maggie went to Yale.

  • 22. AnonyGrl  |  November 1, 2011 at 6:48 pm

    "And you didn’t back down when they made their threats." they say…

    OK… what threats exactly did we make? Well, we threatened to teach history accurately. We threatened to be inclusive of various minorities and important contributions made by members of such minorities. We threatened to make sure text books were updated and correct.

    Scary us.


  • 23. Longestest Lurker  |  November 1, 2011 at 8:11 pm

    OK, thanks. It would be great if we could find a way to preemptively get the bigots to cease and desist with the lies rather than a year after the election is over and the damage is done.

  • 24. Haters still trying to re&hellip  |  November 2, 2011 at 10:06 am

    […] via Prop 8 Trial Tracker » Stop SB 48 campaign: “We’re working on an initiative”. […]

  • 25. “Stop SB48″ F&hellip  |  November 2, 2011 at 10:34 am

    […] Bink at Prop 8 Trial Tracker explains the difference between the referendum and initiative process and the likelhood of StopSB48′s success: An […]

  • 26. Jean  |  November 2, 2011 at 2:13 pm

    They will get enough signatures if they get big donations from right wing groups like the Mormons or the Catholic church in order to fund an army of paid signature gatherers. They will then target conservative areas and spread deliberate lies to scare ignorant people into signing. That is how they got Prop 8 on the ballot and passed. Enough money can buy any election, so lots of money is needed to counter their lies. I just made a donation to fight this, that is all I can personally do at this point.

  • 27. Sagesse  |  November 2, 2011 at 3:59 pm

    I read a hint somewhere that the Bank of NOM didn't support the Stop SB48 petition because they wanted to initiative to be on the high profile November 2012 ballot.

  • 28. Prop 8 Trial Tracker &raq&hellip  |  November 17, 2011 at 2:05 pm

    […] 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 […]

  • 29. Johnny Wilton  |  February 25, 2012 at 11:10 am

    Absolutly CORRECT Bill! Lunatics like Gage Raley put up a smoke screen. Gage Raley is involved in a SCAM business in Ft. Worth, Texas with his daddy-Bill Raley, and his cow poked inbred wife, Racheal Raley-Fischer.
    They are scamming people on Craigslist for record expunctions.

  • 30. ohnny Walton  |  February 25, 2012 at 12:11 pm

    Gage Raley is an IDIOT!!!

    Gage Raley is involved in a SCAM business in Ft. Worth, Texas with his daddy-Bill Raley, and his cow poked, fat , inbred wife, Racheal Raley-Fischer.
    They are scamming people on Craigslist for record expunctions.

  • 31. Tim  |  February 26, 2012 at 7:56 pm

    Gage Raley- LMAO! This dude is a real joke! I would recommend going to an AMERICAN law school this time Gage 'ol Boy!

  • 32. Straight Dave  |  February 26, 2012 at 8:17 pm

    I somehow missed reading this when it first came out, but will do so very soon. A quick glance shows that one of his "Authorities" is actually one of his own articles:

    Gage Raley, The Paternity Establishment Theory of Marriage and Its Ramifications for Same-Sex Marriage Constitutional Cases, 19 VA. J. SOC. POL’Y& L. __ (2011) (forthcoming) …………………………………………………………….1

    Oh, wait! That looks like an article he hasn't even written yet…. "forthcoming".
    Seriously??? Some authority – the future.
    What a waste of paper, other that maybe giving me a good laugh.

  • 33. Adam Bink » Blog Ar&hellip  |  April 17, 2012 at 10:50 am

    […] Stop SB48 campaign: “We’re working on an initiative”, Prop8TrialTracker, November 1, 2011: This is a piece looking at the announcement by the Stop SB 48 campaign (working to repeal California’s FAIR Education Act) that they are seeking to qualify a new initiative for the 2012 ballot, and their chances of doing so. […]

  • 34. Curt Harris  |  April 22, 2012 at 7:30 am

    He did go to an American law school. He went to Georgetown in Washington, D.C., then graduated from Virginia School of Law in 2010. He is getting an advanced law degree courtesy of the Japanese Government. Looks like he wrote this brief while in Virginia.

  • 35. Liberal Mind  |  April 22, 2012 at 7:33 am

    Gage couldn't possibly be involved in a Ft. Worth business. He lives in Japan. Not sure where you get your info, but Gage isn't married, either.

  • 36. Connie Driver  |  April 22, 2012 at 7:40 am

    Gage Raley isn't married and he doesnt work in Ft. Worth. He lives in Japan. You've got the wrong person, guy.

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