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Just weeks after failing to collect enough signatures to qualify a referendum that would have sought to repeal the FAIR Education Act, anti-LGBT forces are at it again. Now they’re attempting to collect enough signatures to qualify a November 2012 initiative that would eliminate references to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people in California’s landmark education law.
L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center CEO Lorri L. Jean have issued the following statement:
“Without support from deep-pocket funders for their referendum campaign, the anti-gay religious extremists working to overturn the FAIR Education Act couldn’t hire enough paid signature gatherers to collect the more than 500,000 signatures necessary to qualify a referendum that sought to overturn the law.
Having failed once, they’re now attempting to collect enough signatures to qualify a November 2012 ballot initiative that would strip LGBT people from the landmark law.
“There is no doubt they’ll continue to raise the false specter of harm to children as they try to push another discriminatory ballot measure. They want to continue to portray a false version of history‚ÄĒa version that intentionally excludes the real and historic accomplishments of LGBT people. And that is the REAL harm to the next generation.
“The FAIR Education Act simply means that children are entitled to the historical truth. They will learn of such notable figures as Harvey Milk, Billie Jean King, Bayard Rustin and so many other great trailblazers. Learning about these figures and the historical context of their lives will only give children a deeper knowledge of our community’s history of fighting for civil rights.
The lessons learned will help put an end to the epidemic of bullying and violence directed at LGBT youth and may even save lives. Far too many young LGBT people, who don’t recognize their own self-worth, end their lives while still teenagers.
“It is an insult to the people of the great state of California to pedal measures so blatantly designed to stimulate prejudice. If they raise enough money this time, they could succeed in qualifying the measure for next year’s ballot. But that does not mean they will win; we cannot and will not allow them to mislead the people of California about the true nature of the FAIR Education Act.
Our Vote for Equality program, which mobilizes volunteers to talk to voters about LGBT equality, will put its efforts into overdrive. Since Prop 8, we’ve learned an enormous amount about the difference it makes for voters to hear firsthand about the lives of LGBT people and how it influences them to vote in favor of equality. And more people than ever before stand with us today.”
About the L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center
Since 1971 the L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center has been building the health, advocating for the rights and enriching the lives of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.
Their wide array of services and programs includes: free HIV/AIDS care and medications for those most in need; housing, food, clothing and support for homeless LGBT youth; low-cost counseling and addiction-recovery services; essential services for LGBT-parented families and seniors; legal services; health education and HIV prevention programs; transgender services; cultural arts and much more.