.- The California Catholic Conference, the public policy arm of the state’s bishops, is backing an effort that would remove sexual orientation from an anti-discrimination provision, the California Catholic Daily reports.
The provision has been accused of promoting a bias in favor of “alternative lifestyles.”
Assembly Bill 2085 would undo Senate Bill 777, signed into law earlier this year by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.
The new bill, proposed by Diamond Bar Assemblyman Bob Huff, is the latest attempt to revoke the law. Opponents tried unsuccessfully to force a statewide referendum on the issue, and are planning to make the issue an initiative on the November ballot.
The present law forbids discrimination on the basis of protected classes, including sexual orientation, in any public school or educational program that receives state funding. The law prohibits any school from teaching information or offering any program that discriminates against protected classes or “reflects adversely” on them.
A news release from Assemblyman Huff’s office said that SB 777 “added a new definition to sexuality in the Education Code to include heterosexual, homosexual, bisexual and transgender lifestyles.”
“Opponents of SB 777 believe that by expanding the definition of sexuality and increasing prohibitions against bias, a reverse-bias in favor of alternative lifestyles is actually created,” the press release continued.
The bishops’ conference is supporting another law proposed by Huff, Assembly Bill 2086. The bill would require school districts to send to parents at the beginning of every school year a letter notifying them that “sexual orientation education” will be taught. The bill would require the letter to provide clear instructions to parents informing them how to remove their children from such classes.
Both bills are scheduled for a hearing before the Assembly Education Committee on April 2.