April 19, 2012
A California law that legalized the teaching of gay history in public schools might still have a chance to be reversed at the ballot, months after an earlier signature drive aimed at overturning it fell short, Baptist Press reports. After failing last year to collect the necessary 500,000 signatures, opponents of the law are once again trying to gather enough signatures to place the issue before California voters. They believe they have a greater chance for success this time because they have four months instead of two, and they hope to get at least 700,000 signatures by the July deadline. The proposed ballot initiative, known as the Class Act, would reverse the law, known as SB 48, which requires social science classes to include the "role and contributions [of] lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Americans." The Class Act would also clarify what is and is not allowed under law regarding the teaching of history. A historical figure would not "be excluded because he or she belongs to a protected class -- including gays or lesbians -- but nor will that person be included because he or she belongs to a protected class," said Kevin Snider of the Pacific Justice Institute. As it reads now, Snider says, the gay history law prevents criticism of gays. California is the only state in the U.S. with such a law.