Signature Drive For Repeal Of New California Anti-Bullying Law Fails
ProudParenting is pleased as punch. Equality California and the GSA Network are pretty pleased too. The Student Civil Rights Act Of 2007 — SB 777 –survived an attempt at repeal by referendum. As 365Gay is reporting:
A conservative Christian group has failed to collect enough signatures to force a vote to repeal a California law protecting students from discrimination, harassment and bullying in publicly-funded schools.
But a legal challenge to the law is still before the courts.
Save Our Kids, the organization that spearheaded the referendum effort says it collected over 350,000 signatures to overturn the law – far short of the required 434,000 signatures that had to be turned in on Friday.
The Student Civil Rights Act, passed and signed into law by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger last year, mandates that teachers and school administrators fully understand their responsibilities to protect LGBT youth.
Various California laws have prohibited discrimination in public education on the basis of sexual orientation, gender, religion, race, disability and gender for a number of years.
But in some instances school administrators have been unclear about all the laws and what they need to do to fight bullying. The Student Civil Rights Act updated the existing Education Code to bring all the discrimination laws under one section.
Religious right organizations are attempting to put a good face on this defeat, and perhaps it’s not completely spin.
WingNutDaily is reporting War over indoctrination moves to initiative arena; Pro-family groups seeking to overturn ‘gay’ mandates.
The battle in California over a new state law that would mandate a positive – and no other – portrayal of bisexuals, homosexuals, transgenders and others choosing alternative sexual lifestyles in public schools has moved into a campaign for an initiative.
Officials with Save Our Kids made the announcement yesterday after confirming that their effort to obtain 434,000 signatures for a referendum fell short, coming up with 350,000 names.
[Save Our Kids and Focus On The Family comment/report on efforts to peal back protections for LGBT youth after the fold]For pure spin though, California Catholic Daily reported on the full, Save Our Kids‘s director’s comment on their planed initiative in “We have surprised political observers”:
“For a completely volunteer-driven campaign to obtain this number of signatures is unheard of,” said [Karen England, director of the Save Our Kids Campaign] in her e-mailed announcement. “We had to overcome incredible difficulties during our signature gathering, including the holidays, and the results are astonishing. While we didn’t reach the threshold of required signatures, we have surprised political observers with the amazing amount of signatures we gathered in just 70 days. It is unheard of for a volunteer-only effort to find this kind of support, especially in a state as large as California.”
England said that “because of the enormous amount of support for overturning SB 777,” the Save Our Kids Campaign filed the initiative with the attorney general. “This initiative will give us double the amount of time to gather signatures, while accomplishing the same goal of eliminating the extreme policies of SB 777,” she said. “Many California citizens are just now finding out about SB 777 and are outraged. By filing an initiative, we will give even more citizens the opportunity to voice their anger over the passage of this radical bill.”
And, there is a court case going on over this, as Focus On The Family’s Citizen Link reminds us:
Starting today, California has a new definition of gender and is forcing public schools to present a one-sided message about homosexuality, bisexuality and transgender issues.
A referendum campaign to stop the new law – SB 777 – from taking effect fell short of the 434,000 signatures needed to place it on the ballot.
But a lawsuit challenging the law is moving forward.
In November, the Alliance Defense Fund and Advocates for Faith and Freedom sued California in federal court, on behalf of the California Education Committee, which is a project of the California Family Council. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger signed SB 777 in October, and it became effective today.
…Bob Tyler, general counsel for Advocates for Faith and Freedom, said the law has left most school districts scratching their heads, wondering what to do next.
“This is a significant day due to the fact that the law is now in effect, and it could completely redefine how we’ve segregated males and females in the history of our nation,” he said. “It’s such an outrage to have a law that actually requires schools to allow boys to use girls’ restrooms. Basically, we’re licensing predatory behavior.”
Tyler said a decision from the judge could come in February.
So, a big “Hooray!” for the LGBT youth win in The Student Civil Rights Act Of 2007‘s becoming law in California, and the referendum attempt to repeal the law’s failure. Here in California, we hope that the initiative and courthouse attempts to peal away the protections for our LGBT youth fail as miserably as the attempt for a referendum on SB 777 — And, we’re going to do more than hope. We’re going to work to keep the legal protections in place for our LGBT youth. They are our LGBT community’s future.