Conservative group asks for referendum on gay, lesbian text requirement
July 16, 2011
A conservative organization based in Sacramento filed documents Friday to begin a voter referendum regarding the recent passage of a bill requiring schools to teach the contributions of gay, lesbian, transgendered and bisexual individuals. [SFGate.com]
Paulo Sibaja of the Capitol Resource Institute filed a request for a title and summary with the attorney general’s office. The institute is a hard-line, socially conservative organization that has long opposed attempts in California to expand rights for the LGBT population.
Sibaja is the institute’s legislative director; he and backers of the referendum will need to collect 433,971 signatures to let voters decide whether to keep or reject the measure that Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law on Thursday.
The institute officially opposed the bill throughout the legislative process. A coalition has formed behind the effort to remove the law from the books but Sibaja would not elaborate, saying more details would be available in a press conference on Wednesday.
The law is the first of its kind in the nation and requires, beginning Jan. 1, public schools to include in their social sciences curriculum information about the contributions of LGBT individuals. State budget woes, however, will delay the purchase of new textbooks until 2015.
Sen. Mark Leno, D-San Francisco, who introduced the Senate Bill, said he wasn’t surprised by the institute’s action. He called the group “extremist,” adding: “I think it will be a challenge for them to get the signatures. If they succeed, I’ll bet Californians” reject it.