A Dangerous Precedent Abuilding in California - By Paul M. Weyrich (October 25, 2007) 

There is terrible news from California. On October 12, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed into law three bills which, the opposition argues, introduce the radical homosexual agenda into educational institutions. Unquestionably the traditional purpose of public education is to teach reading, writing, mathematics and other fundamentals necessary for well-rounded intellectual development. Instead, these institutions apparently will become miniature laboratories for redefining nature, implementing “gender theory” and experimenting with the effects of sexual lifestyles. 

The first bill, SB 777, evidently bans anything in public schools that could be interpreted as discriminating against or critical of homosexuality, bisexuality, transsexuality or other alternative lifestyle choices. It prohibits any classroom instruction or school-sponsored activity that “promotes a discriminatory bias” against “sexual orientation” and “gender,” which includes cross-dressing, sex changes and any other behavior “not stereotypically associated with one’s assigned sex at birth.” Forget any book, reference or teaching aid which shows marriage as only between a man and a woman (the definition California voters approved several years ago); materials which say people are born male or female (not in-between or subject to change); sources which fail to include a variety of transsexual, bisexual and homosexual historical figures; and sex education materials which fail to offer the option of sex changes. In addition, homecoming kings can now be either male or female, as can homecoming queens, and students, whether male or female, must be allowed to use the restroom and locker room corresponding to the sex with which they choose to identify (potentially especially pernicious to young girls). Such an attempt to redefine language to suit one’s political and sexual interests would make George Orwell proud. 

AB 394 requires the State Department of Education to monitor adherence to anti-discrimination and anti-harassment requirements involving “actual or perceived gender identification and sexual orientation” in local schools. Schools must adopt policies which prohibit discrimination and harassment based upon sexual identity or orientation and a process to receive and investigate complaints in these cases. Schools also will have to provide classroom handouts (including some specifically for parents) and display information in the halls, lounges and on websites that specifically address “bias-related discrimination and harassment” against homosexuality, bisexuality, transsexuality or other “alternative lifestyle choices.” 

The final bill, AB 14, prohibits state funding for any program that does not support a range of alternative sexual practices, including state-funded social services run by churches. This means that day-cares, preschools, after-school programs, food and housing programs, senior services, anti-gang efforts, job programs and others must all teach and accept homosexuality, bisexuality, transsexuality and all the other sexualities. It also forces every hospital in California, even private and religious hospitals, to adopt policies of support for the aforementioned sexualities and opens up non-profit organizations to lawsuits if they exclude members who engage in any such sexual conduct. 

Governor Schwarzenegger rejected a bill to authorize same-sex marriage. Also, a year ago he vetoed bills similar to SB 777, AB 394 and AB 14, stating that existing state law already provided penalties for discrimination. Why he reversed himself now is unclear. He has not held a press conference or issued a statement on this legislation. But the harm his decision will do is clear if the law becomes effective on January 1, 2008 and is interpreted and implemented literally. It would turn California’s children over to those who want to indoctrinate them in perversion in order to validate their own lifestyle choices. Homosexual advocates are aware that there is no more captive audience than schoolchildren, both because they are impressionable and because education is compulsory, and have pursued their agenda aggressively through state legislators and bureaucrats. In California they may have succeeded in implementing intolerance for what, in every human society and culture, has been the understanding of men, women, marriage, sexuality and nature. 

Those parents who can afford to pull their children from public schools and place them in private schools or homeschool them will probably do so. But most families cannot afford to do so. They will be forced to send their children to schools which expressly contradict their values. Multiple studies have shown the disastrous effect the breakdown of marriage has had on the poor¬e.g., it keeps them in a vicious cycle of poverty. Now the Government of California plans to do more harm to the poor. 

Sex has no place in educational institutions. It belongs at home, where parents have a responsibility to teach their children about it. But California’s politicians, intent upon using the power of law and manipulating public institutions to deny nature, control thought, speech and action, and force their perversion on others, want sex everywhere in public schools. 

The Capitol Resource Institute in California has launched a referendum campaign to overturn SB 777. The group will need to secure 433,971 valid voter signatures within 90 days to qualify for the June 2008 ballot. 

If the referendum is unsuccessful, be prepared for some momentum to spread east because California’s resources and population make California enormously influential. Textbook publishers will take note of this new legislation and amend their books accordingly in order to stay in business in the State. 

We must make Americans aware of what is happening and be prepared to fight it. Either that or we must be prepared for the “tolerant” left to begin persecuting those who advocate social and cultural positions opposed to theirs. This is as gross an abuse of power as I have ever seen. 

Paul M. Weyrich is Chairman and CEO of the Free Congress Foundation.