Main | Monday, November 28, 2011

CALIFORNIA: Hate Group Launches Two Campaigns To Thwart Gay History Bill

Unswayed by their failure to gather enough signatures to place a repeal of SB 48 on the November 2012 ballot (despite illegal tactics), a Christianist hate group has launched two new campaigns to thwart the plan to educate school kids about influential LGBT figures from history.

The first new plan, which I told you about earlier this month, attempts to strike the words "gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender" from the bill. The Bay Area Reporter reports that the second plan would allow parents to opt-out of any lessons about LGBT people.

EQCA spokeswoman Rebekah Orr said the new campaign "is likely to be an even uglier effort than their previous one. "It's very specifically targeted at LGBT people. It makes extremely clear what their motivations are," Orr said. Richard Rios, the chair of the Christian Coalition of California, submitted the two anti-gay proposals. In an interview, he said, "It's not a homophobic issue. It's an issue of the requirement of the teaching of something that's contradictory to one's faith." Asked about how teaching the historical contributions of someone like slain gay icon Harvey Milk would contradict someone's religious beliefs, Rios invoked same-sex relationships. He said that in his upbringing, he learned that any relationship other than that between a man and a woman "is not a godly relationship."
RELATED: The above-linked BAR story notes the leadership vacuum currently plaguing Equality California, who some say will be ill-prepared or unable to mount a defense of SB48. Following the departure of their second executive director in several months, EQCA has hired former GLAAD head Joan Garry as its interim leader. A spokesman for EQCA estimates that a defense of SB48 could cost as much as $35M, depending on what resources our enemies can muster.

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