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SACRAMENTO -- The anti-gay Capitol Resource Institute received approval Tuesday from the State of California to circulate petitions for a referendum on the June 2012 ballot that asks voters to overturn SB 48, the FAIR (Fair, Accurate, Inclusive, and Respectful) Education Act, which was signed into law by Governor Jerry Brown this month.
The anti-equality group has until mid-October to collect more than 504,000 signatures to qualify the measure for the ballot.
“California has a long legacy of leading the nation on issues of inclusion and justice and the FAIR Education Act represents the next step in that tradition,” said Roland Palencia, Equality California executive director.
“This attack on the FAIR Education Act isn't just an attempt to censor the contributions of LGBT people and people from the history books, it's also an attempt by our opponents to revive lies based on prejudice about LBGT people being dangerous to children. Over the coming months, we are prepared to prevent this measure from reaching the ballot by engaging Californians in a conversation about our opponent's real motivations and the truth about what the FAIR Education act does and does not do,” he said.
Carolyn Laub, executive director of Gay-Straight Alliance Network, agreed with him.
"The FAIR Education Act ensures that all students in California receive a fair and accurate account of our state and our nation’s history, including the contributions of women, people of color, LGBT people, people with disabilities, and other historically underrepresented groups. Sadly, throughout history, conservative groups have tried to exclude the contributions of these groups when they haven’t suited their political agenda,” Laub said. “We trust that Californians will continue to support an honest education that does not erase the LGBT community and its accomplishments from history.”
The FAIR Education Act requires that LGBT Americans and people with disabilities are included and recognized for their important historical contributions to the economic, political and social development of California. It adds both groups to the existing law that requires schools to include underrepresented groups, including women and people of color, in textbooks and other instructional materials. It also prevents the adoption of materials that discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation, disability or religion.
According to EQCA and the GSA Network, there is a body of research showing that in schools where LGBT people are included in classroom discussions, students are 50% less likely to report being bullied.
About Capitol Resource Institute
The Capitol Resource Institute is a socially conservative Christian group that is dedicated to fight all efforts by Californians to provide equality to LGBT people.
Paulo Sibaja, as communications director, is the public face of the institute.
Its message is: "Stop SB 48: It costs too much. It goes too far."
Capitol Resource Institute's referendum is endorsed by Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council, which is listed as an anti-gay hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center.