FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 6, 2011
CONTACT: Rebekah Orr, Equality California
PHONE: 415-498-0847 EMAIL: firstname.lastname@example.org
EQCA Condemns Fifth Ballot Measure Attack on FAIR Education Act
Sacramento – The anti-equality advocates, who previously sponsored an unsuccessful effort to place a referendum on the FAIR Education Act on the 2012 ballot, have announced that today they will file a new ballot measure to repeal the FAIR Education Act.
Equality California Board Chair Clarissa Filgioun issued the following statement in response:
“What our opponents have shown us is that they will seize any opportunity, however small, to launch large-scale attacks on LGBT people. The FAIR Education Act was created from a basic concept: that California schools should teach accurate history that is inclusive of the roles of all people.
“But if anti-equality advocates have their way, California schools will instead become a breeding ground for extremism. Schools will no longer be prohibited from adopting materials that discriminate based on sexual orientation or gender identity. Parents will be able to pull their kids from social studies courses that include any references to LGBT people. Who 'counts' as a minority for the purpose of teaching history will be redefined. And, schools will no longer be required to include or acknowledge the role of LGBT people in the history of California or our nation. The effect on schools will be chilling and the impact on students—especially LGBT youth—could be devastating.
“We can't—and we won't—let anti-LGBT extremism get a foothold in our schools. We're prepared to do everything in our power to prevent these measures from reaching the ballot and to defeat these measures at the ballot if we must.”Four additional initiatives attacking the FAIR Education Act have also been filed by other proponents. Proponents of each initiative have 150 days from the date the initiative petition is approved for circulation to collect more than 504,760 signatures to qualify the measure for the ballot. However, the initiative measure must qualify at least 131 days before the November general election.
The FAIR Education Act, authored by Senator Mark Leno (D-San Francisco) and sponsored by Equality California and Gay-Straight Alliance Network, was signed into law by Governor Jerry Brown earlier this year and goes into effect January 1, 2012. It requires schools to integrate age-appropriate and factual information about historical roles of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people, people with disabilities and people of color into existing social science instruction. For more information, visit www.FAIREducationAction.com.
Equality California (EQCA) is the largest statewide lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) rights advocacy organization in California. Over the past decade, Equality California has strategically moved California from a state with extremely limited legal protections for LGBT individuals to a state with some of the most comprehensive civil rights protections in the nation. Equality California has successfully sponsored more than 85 pieces of legislation and continues to advance equality through legislative advocacy, electoral work, public education and community empowerment. www.eqca.org