• The Heritage Network
    • Resize:
    • A
    • A
    • A
  • Donate
  • Californians Raising Objections to New "Gay History" Law

    In California, social science instruction in public schools must include study of the “role and contributions” of certain “categories” of persons. A law passed last month updates those categories to include “lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Americans.”

    Known as the Fair, Accurate, Inclusive, and Respectful (FAIR) Education Act, or SB 48, the law also prohibits schools from adopting instructional materials that contain “any matter” reflecting adversely upon persons because of factors including “sexual orientation.”

    The new law raises certain questions for parents. For example, some parents might wonder in which grades their children will begin to study history based on “categories” of persons defined by sexuality and gender identity. Similarly, some parents might wonder whether the law requires instruction about certain individuals because of their particular sexuality or rather instruction about the sexuality of historical figures already in the curriculum.

    The new law also raises certain questions for teachers and school officials. As Kevin Snider, chief counsel for the Pacific Justice Institute, testified to California lawmakers:

    [SB 48] uses terminology which is vague and confusing.… Under this inartfully drafted bill, a teacher would have no principle for determining when his remarks pass from the permissible to the forbidden. Further, a school board would not know when proposed instructional materials promote a discriminatory bias or reflect adversely upon persons belonging to a protected class.

    Concerned citizens might also worry that activists will attempt to use this new legislation to undermine the traditional understanding of marriage as one man and one woman. Proponents of same-sex marriage routinely argue that defining marriage as one man and one woman unlawfully “discriminates” based on “sexual orientation.” One question is whether activists will argue that SB 48 should be interpreted to ban any instructional materials that express a public policy preference for the historical understanding of marriage as one man and one woman. Slippery slope strategies to undermine marriage have been well documented.

    One proponent of SB 48 argues that it will help to reduce discrimination in California’s public schools. Faced with similar legislation in 2006, however, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger explained that it was unnecessary because California already protected against discrimination in public schools.

    Voters soon may have the opportunity to exercise their own veto of attempts to change public school instruction in California. A referendum petition supported by the StopSB48 coalition would take this issue directly to California voters. According to the Pacific Justice Institute, which is supporting the referendum, the StopSB48 coalition “must gather approximately 550,000 valid signatures” by the end of September for the referendum to move forward.

    Melanie Zlikovsky is currently a member of the Young Leaders Program at The Heritage Foundation. For more information on interning at Heritage, please visit: http://www.heritage.org/about/departments/ylp.cfm

    Posted in Education [slideshow_deploy]

    11 Responses to Californians Raising Objections to New "Gay History" Law

    1. Ann Weaver says:

      Thank you for fighting back!! We are the majority and we must stand together to fight against this pink tyranny.

    2. ignats82 says:

      This whole thing worries me. On one hand I feel that gays and particularly the struggles of gay identified people in history go largely unreported in the classroom. So at the very least including a quick blurb about a person's sexual orientation is needed, but where should we start teaching? I don't think we need to write new chapters the textbooks about homosexuality. I don't even think we need to make new classes. There needs to be a clearer plan presented for this act.

      • Seasoldier says:

        The first mistake here is accepting the usage of the "gay" euphemism to refer to homosexual activities and/or persons who choose to engage in such activities. This is a perversion of the language and serves only to confuse the issue by implying that there may be something good about homosexual activity. Whenever we use euphemisms, such as "choice" instead of abortion, "death with dignity" instead of euthanasia, and the like instead of speaking plainly about such issues, we provide cover for those who would rationalize behaviors that are clearly opposed to Natural Law and Moral Law and we fail to face up to the fundamental issues and objective truths involved. In this case, if a person has contributed significantly to improvement of society, then reporting upon their accomplishments would be appropriate; however, it would have nothing to do with their sexual activities and, therefore, does not require discussion of their inclination toward such activities.

    3. JTAZ says:

      When I went to public school many decades ago, I learned about a lot of great Americans. But at no time was their sexual orientation part of the instruction. Obviously my education was lacking as I have no idea with whom these slept.

    4. alk says:

      Even if the voters hate the bill and knock it down a 9th circuit judge will overrule the people.

    5. Bobbie says:

      sexual preference doesn't require influence therefore no law is EVER required. If anyone has an interest in learning "gay" history they can use their freedom of choice to do it on their own time. No "personal" influence of any public school administration should ever be taught or learnt in school.

      • Char says:

        ATTENTION CALIFORNIA VOTERS!!!
        http://stopsb48.com/ 

        Go to this site to sign the petition and sign up for updates on the progression of stopping this bill of bringing LGBT to our children's history and social science classes Starting in kindergarten!!!  They can not afford to keep teachers yet  can find the money to redo all the text books… Please send a strong message to our Governor that this is not ok!!! Spread the word to everyone who lives in California !!! 

        The politicians need to keep their noses out of our kids text books!!!

    6. Char says:

      ATTENTION CALIFORNIA VOTERS!!!
      http://stopsb48.com/ 

      Go to this site to sign the petition and sign up for updates on the progression of stopping this bill of bringing LGBT to our children's history and social science classes Starting in kindergarten!!!  They can not afford to keep teachers yet  can find the money to redo all the text books… Please send a strong message to our Governor that this is not ok!!! Spread the word to everyone who lives in California

    7. Gay Book says:

      Kids should be aware about LGBT communities. It’s a crucial step taken by California schools.

    8. T.Gordon says:

      I am a junior in high school and gay history is already involved in school. For example, Greek mythology is packed with stories of soldiers who engaged in homosexual activity; European history, mostly during the Renaissance era, addresses how homosexuality was viewed by the increasingly secular public. I don't understand how the gay community expects their history to be taught without discussing adversity.

    Comments are subject to approval and moderation. We remind everyone that The Heritage Foundation promotes a civil society where ideas and debate flourish. Please be respectful of each other and the subjects of any criticism. While we may not always agree on policy, we should all agree that being appropriately informed is everyone's intention visiting this site. Profanity, lewdness, personal attacks, and other forms of incivility will not be tolerated. Please keep your thoughts brief and avoid ALL CAPS. While we respect your first amendment rights, we are obligated to our readers to maintain these standards. Thanks for joining the conversation.

    Big Government Is NOT the Answer

    Your tax dollars are being spent on programs that we really don't need.

    I Agree I Disagree ×

    Get Heritage In Your Inbox — FREE!

    Heritage Foundation e-mails keep you updated on the ongoing policy battles in Washington and around the country.

    ×