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

FAIR Education Act

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.

Ana:

The anti-equality folks behind the Stop SB 48 campaign suffered a recent disappointment a few weeks ago. Their ballot referendum to repeal SB 48 — the FAIR (Fair, Accurate, Inclusive, and Respectful) Education Law — failed to qualify because they did not gather enough signatures.

But on Thursday, Nov. 17, several homophobic organizations requested title and summary from California Attorney General Kamala Harris for a November 2012 ballot initiative to repeal the FAIR Education Act.

It’s on — again. And really, what a shame. Think about all the money that will get wasted on something so inane.

The new law simply mandates that public schools in California include the contributions of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in age-appropriate social studies classes. It’s no different from how, over the years, we’ve come to include the contributions of Mexican Americans, women, African Americans, Native Americans, Asians, European Americans and members of other ethnic and cultural groups.

The law goes into effect January 2012, and public schools in California are gearing up to become the first in the nation to do the right thing with regard to inclusivity of LGBT history in lesson plans.

Thanks to this new law, students will now have the opportunity to learn a more accurate, inclusive version of history in an age-appropriate manner, one that might include the fact that, for example, the gay rights movement was sparked globally during the Stonewall Riots in New York City in 1969. This was when gay and lesbians decided to finally fight back against discriminatory, government-sponsored raids and unfair treatment that had spanned decades.

Will learning this make kids gay? Not at all, but as you might suspect, a number of conservatives in our state are collectively wringing their hands, frantic with worry. Their worst fears are about to be realized.

Homosexuality will now be taught in public schools, starting with little kindergartners as young as 5 years old.

This sounds crazy, but the thing is they really believe this. They really believe this law is part of a larger gay conspiracy and that it’s designed to make kids gay and join our team. I know because I got to witness them talking about it firsthand the other night at Calvary Chapel in Chino Hills, Calif.

I drove an hour and a half to hear Karen England, Stop SB 48’s main proponent, discuss their failed campaign and what their next steps are in stopping “the homosexual agenda.” England is the executive director of a “pro-family” organization called the Capitol Resource Institute. As England put it that night, it’s one thing to live with same-sex marriage. After all, even some hardcore conservatives might say with resignation, “Well, that’s in their home. Live and let live.”

“But now you’re talking about bringing it into our schools; you’re messing with our kids,” England continued indignantly. “Kids need to learn their ABCs, not about transgendered people.”

There were about 40 people at the meeting. The first question came from a gentleman who pointedly asked, “How do we get rid of Mark Leno?” The way he said it, I wasn’t sure if he meant that in the literal or legislative sense. Leno is the out Democratic Senator from San Francisco who introduced the bill.

A mother expressed concern over what her two school-age children will be taught at school starting next year. That sparked a conversation over the merits of pulling kids out of school for days at a time in an effort to a) deny the school district the money they would have received for that child during those days, and b) prove a point and show school officials that parents who disagree with the law can’t be bullied.

Another woman identified herself as a school employee. She works in her school’s print shop and said she had a conversation with the assistant principal about the new law in recent weeks.

“I won’t print that stuff for the children,” she said she’d informed the administrator, referring to LGBT-related materials that might end up coming her way. “I will walk,” she’d told him. The administrator had tried to dismiss her concerns, but she made it pretty clear that she would rather quit her job than allow gay people to be humanized.

“I leave it in the Lord’s hands,” she told us, shaking her head.

An elderly man said his worse fears were medically motivated. “The gay community has a lot of health issues that straight people don’t have.” What he said made me think back to leper colonies: is that what he wants for gays, to quarantine us so that we can’t spread disease?

Now, we’re about to embark on Round Two of this craziness. Last month, they fell short of the necessary 504,760 signatures needed for it to qualify. They claim that they received 497,404 signatures. What we should consider is that this time, they will be ever more determined to make this one stick. As England summed up for her supporters, “We got this many signatures in 70 days; 150 days will be easy.”

For months, the Courage Campaign worked to defend the FAIR Education Act as part of a broad coalition that included people of faith, labor organizations, LGBT groups, disability rights advocates, racial justice organizations and many more who care about equality. We will continue to fight. After all, this is no time for the LGBT movement to rest. Our opponents raised $100,000 for this campaign, and their highest donation came from the National Organization for Marriage, in the form of a $4,000 check. That means that lots of people contributed a few dollars here and there to help them out.

During England’s pep talk, she mentioned how the churches of California rose up in this effort. These are churches that had never before been active in a political campaign until now. Calvary Chapel alone added 12 new phone lines just for volunteers to reach out and rally other churches around the state to get involved. She spoke of the tireless passion people demonstrated in ways big and small, like one woman in downtown Sacramento, pushing a baby stroller, with three additional kids in tow, who went into their office and told them she was willing to “go out into the streets” to get signatures. All this, England said, “to protect her family.”

So our opponents are gearing up, big time.

What you can do:

1. Share Ana’s piece with friends, family and colleagues to warn of what’s coming.

2. Chip in to help fuel our efforts to beat them back a second time.

3. Sign up for updates on the campaign.

28 Comments

  • 1. Derek Williams  |  November 21, 2011 at 3:14 pm

    When I was a kid, I was given to believe that homosexuals were dirty old men in raincoats. When I was a teenager, I discovered to my horror that I was a homosexual.

    I had no idea that any good person could be a homosexual. History was taught, and it mentioned famous blacks like Martin Luther King, Nat King Cole, but while Alan Turing was mentioned as having been the father of the modern computer, saviour of Britain through the cracking of the Enigma code, I had not the slightest idea he was 'one of us'. We listened to the masterpieces of the Russian composer, Tchaikowsky, never once realising he was homosexual, same goes for the likes of Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo, venerated into eternity by billions, yet oppressed by the very religion that commissioned their masterworks. That these great geniuses were homosexual was never once allowed to permeate our consciousness.

    The list is absolutely vast, yet entirely concealed from today's youth, who homophobic religions want to persist in calling anyone they want to bully, a "faggot". We're just not angry enough at our exclusion from history.

    If Big Brother succeed in erasing our contribution from history, at least let the kids see this page:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_gay,_lesbian

  • 2. Michelle  |  November 21, 2011 at 4:48 pm

    And remember that Alan Turing was driven to suicide because of the homophobia after he was outed. The British government took their hero and made him take estrogen to curb his 'sexual urges.' Horrific story.

  • 3. JayJonson  |  July 4, 2014 at 1:48 pm

    Send them to the excellent articles on gay history and art and literature etc. at glbtq.com–an online encyclopedia of gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and queer culture.

  • 4. be4marriage  |  November 21, 2011 at 3:16 pm

    I don't think it's going to be easy for them to get the signatures at all. They already ran one campaign and people will think they signed the petition already, so those signatures are going to be lost. Other than the fringe lunatics, there really aren't that many people that are going to sign this. Who was it that stood up in front of the California Supreme Court and said the days of anti-gay initiatives were over in California and that denying us marriage was "it". Yeah, exactly.

  • 5. Ronnie  |  November 21, 2011 at 4:24 pm

    "you’re messing with our kids"……. Whose kids? Which kids? The hundreds of LGBT or perceived to be LGBT kids who are bullied, harassed, threatened, fear for their lives, can't concentrate on any form of education or even care about academics because they are concentrating on whether some "Christian" sociopath bigot is going to physically harm them? The hundreds of kids who are couch surfing until they finish school because their own parents threw them out of the house for being LGB or T or ran away from their unsafe hostile loveless home? The hundreds of kids who have LGBT parents who pay taxes that fund public education? The hundreds of teen straight allies whose parent's also pay taxes that fund public education?

    Oh wait, I forgot, all of those kids are expendable to the Fascist anti-American, anti-freedom, anti-intellectual, religious reich….. Meanwhile…. we have more of this……

    – HATE GRAFFITI HITS WILLIAMS AND DARTMOUTH: http://www.towleroad.com/2011/11/hate-graffiti-hi

    – Bullying Tales: In Your Own Words, Part 1
    For many LGBT teens, bullying is as much a part of everyday life as Noxzema and Facebook. Our readers share their personal bullying stories so others see they're not alone; a light waits at the end of the hallway.: http://www.advocate.com/Youth/Bullying_Tales_In_Y

    "Almost every week we find ourselves at The Advocate running a new story about an LGBT middle- or high-school student being beaten, harassed, or bullied — many have taken their own lives because of such abuse. So we asked our readers to send us their bullying survival stories and share how they're surviving this treatment or how they got past it. Here's the first in a series of tales from the trenches."

    – & McInerney Pleads Guilty to Second-Degree Murder: http://www.advocate.com/News/Daily_News/2011/11/2

    "Brandon McInerney has pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in the shooting death of Lawrence King and will be sentenced to 21 years in prison."…….. 21 years? That's it?????!!!!! He kills a boy by shooting him in the back of the head twice at point blank range & even told other students that he was going to do it prior to the execution style murder just because the kid was gay & he couldn't deal with the harmless flirtation that straight boys impose on girls all the time (but you don't see those girls shooting those who flirt with them) & all he gets is 21 years?????!!!!!!

    Protect the children? That has yet to be seen of or done by the religious reich. They attack children. They harm children. They perpetuate evil & hate. 100% FACT. 100% REALITY. Those involved in Anti-gay Inc. are living in a fantasy world flooded by denial, clouded in delusion, filled with the execrable stench of irrational lies & propaganda, & tainted with absolute hate. SHAME ON THEM!!!….. SHAME!!!!

    > I …Ronnie

    P.S. If the California anti-gay churches (that needs to be pointed out because not all churches are homophobic bigots) aren't going to pay taxes in order the fund public education then they need to STFU & back off….. PERIOD!

  • 6. JT1962  |  November 23, 2011 at 1:56 am

    Just as an FYI, Brandon McInerney is going to do the full 21 years, no good time credits allowed and no time served allowed. Now, I'm not saying that it's not enough time but in all honesty, this boy is going somewhere that what he got from Larry King will seem like a mild joke. And with no let up in sight. My biggest hope for him is that he can get the psychological help he needs so that when he gets out at age 38, he's more able to deal with diversity in the world.

  • 7. nightshayde  |  November 21, 2011 at 4:30 pm

    I just read on yahoo — Brandon McInerney pleaded guilty to one count of 2nd degree murder, one count of voluntary manslaughter and one count of use of a firearm. He's going to prison for 21 years with no chance of early release for good behavior or time served. He's the kid who shot a gay classmate in Oxnard three years ago.
    http://news.yahoo.com/plea-deal-california-gay-cl

  • 8. Stefan  |  November 21, 2011 at 7:47 pm

    I don't even see how this new attempt would stand in court since it would only remove the provisions on LGBT persons and no one else (clear anti-gay animus).

  • 9. DaveP  |  November 22, 2011 at 8:08 am

    True, it won't stand up in court. BUT – Because of California's totally screwed up ballot initiative system, there is absolutely nothing to stop these unconstitutional measures from getting onto the ballot and getting voted in by the public, which then requries a lengthy trial process to remedy (just like Prop 8).

    So please – let's not let our guard down just because we know it won't stand up in court. If we let it get that far it will take a long time and a huge amount of money to undo it. We really do need to stop this from happening.

  • 10. Martin Pal  |  November 22, 2011 at 3:29 pm

    If it did get on the ballot then a campaign could follow of “this ballot measure, if passed, will fail in court anyway, so why waste millions of dollars the state doesn’t have to fight in court over it? Voting for this measure is a vote to waste money.”

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    During England's pep talk, she mentioned how the churches of California rose up in this effort. These are churches that had never before been active in a political campaign until now. Calvary Chapel alone added 12 new phone lines just for volunteers to reach out and rally other churches around the state to get involved.biology online |chemistry writing service |homework service |UK Essay Help

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  • 22. woftoday  |  July 4, 2014 at 11:51 am

    the lgbt or whatever the homosexual names themselves have not place in the church, they can't change the bible. The word of God is against it and so are we.
    Thanks
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  • 23. SeanLiberty13  |  July 4, 2014 at 12:08 pm

    Nobody cares what your grotesque version of "God" is against. It is irrelevant to American law. Go suck on a rosary you mentally diseased, waste of life, Heinrich Himmler wannabe, savage trash.

  • 24. RnL2008  |  July 4, 2014 at 12:41 pm

    Glad to inform you of this, but Gays and Lesbians are Christians too and just because you believe as you do….you DON'T get to tell others how to believe!!!

  • 25. davepCA  |  July 4, 2014 at 1:16 pm

    Just do a Google search on 'gay friendly churches' and you will see that your anti-gay personal prejudice is not supported by a very large and rapidly growing number of religious organizations. And frankly, it's none of your business what other religious groups do and don't believe, and do or don't practice. Unless you think it's okay for others to dictate what YOUR church 'should' believe and practice, hmm? You can't have it both ways.

  • 26. bayareajohn  |  July 4, 2014 at 2:15 pm

    What kind of god would temp us to think, nay, CREATE us with the gift of thought, then punish us for doing it? Your kind. A hateful and pointlessly vindictive one. One who predestines most of the world to eternal damnation for being born in the wrong place.

    The bible ranks homosexuality right up there with cutting beard hair, eating shrimp, and wearing mixed fabrics. And then demands killing unruly children and unwed mothers. So not killing folk, dinner at Sizzler, and shopping at Penny's after a shave and haircut, and you are WAY more damned forever than by just being gay. By your rules and rulebook. And lets not even THINK about how that "Mother" tattoo earns you eternal hellfire.

    Oh, but you get to decide which rules you like and which rules really don't matter.
    Isn't that putting your reasoning, your self above the inspired word of your God? Yet another deadly sin?

  • 27. KarlS  |  July 4, 2014 at 3:15 pm

    Your psychotic make-believe god is not relevant to the real world, you knuckledragging piece of dogshit.

  • 28. brandall  |  July 4, 2014 at 4:04 pm

    The 1st Amendment gives you the right to worship as you wish. It does not give you the right to impose your "biblical when it's convenient" beliefs on the rest of rest. And I thank God for that!

    Oh, and for the record, your church may practice and worship as it pleases. But, do note the number of mainstream Protestant churches that are realizing excluding their LGBT brethren was wrong.

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