The law may be known as the FAIR Education Act (short for Fair, Accurate, Inclusive and Respectful), but some Californians believe that FARCE would be a more fitting nickname. They are seeking to overturn the law, which requires that school textbooks and history lessons include contributions by gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender Americans.
The Capitol Resource Institute, a socially conservative Sacramento-based organization that supports “family-friendly” policies, is seeking to collect the 504,760 signatures needed to create a referendum on the law.
As stated here, I have my doubts about how precisely the law will be implemented, but ultimately I can’t see any harm that will come from it. The rhetoric coming from the law’s detractors, on the other hand, seems a tad over the top. A spokesman for the Traditional Values Coalition (TVC), another group opposed to the law, imputes fairly extreme motives to those who back it, accusing them of
molesting the minds of young impressionable youth, as young as kindergarten, with an agenda and message that is not age-appropriate and that is offensive to the values of a vast majority of California’s families.
The inevitable coming storm over the law and efforts to repeal it calls to mind another California battle—the right of same-sex couples to marry. In that instance, opponents were successful not only in getting a referendum on the ballot in 2008 but in passing Proposition 8, nullifying the law, only to see their efforts struck down two years later by a federal judge. An appeal was promptly filed.
As to the current challenge, Senator Mark Leno, who authored the legislation, has stated his belief that opponents to the FAIR law will have their work cut out for them. The senator may have a point. Not as many state residents are as likely to get up in arms over a paragraph in a lesson plan as have historically when the fate of holy matrimony hung in the balance.
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