Referendum, constitutional amendment or abandoning the public schools? Opponents of SB-777 ponder what to do next


Many California parents are seeking some way to block implementation of the provisions of SB-777, recently signed into law by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. They say the new statute would impose a radical sexual agenda on California’s public schoolchildren.

The law bans school texts and activities that would exhibit any bias against homosexuality, bisexuality, transsexuality, and cross-dressing, according to Meredith Turney, legislative liaison for the Capitol Resource Institute, a pro-family lobbying organization based in Sacramento.

“Under this latest advance toward a Brave New World of polymorphous perversion, California textbooks will no longer be able to use words like 'mother and father' and 'husband and wife,' because they suggest that heterosexuality is the norm,” said Alan Carlson of the World Congress of Families. “Unbelievably, the law even allows students to use the restrooms and locker rooms of the opposite sex if they identify with that gender,” Carlson told Christian Newswire.

But what can concerned parents do?

Capitol Resource Institute is seeking to block SB-777 with a referendum, which would allow voters to overturn the law. But qualifying a referendum for the ballot is not an easy task: it entails raising more than $500,000 and gathering 433,971 voter signatures in the next 90 days.

If the referendum were successfully placed on the ballot, SB-777 would not go into effect as scheduled on January 1, 2008. Instead, it would be up to the voters to decide the fate of the law in the June elections.

Assembly members Doug LaMalfa (R-Richvale) and Joel Anderson (R-San Diego) have already volunteered to serve as co-chairs of the referendum campaign. CRI’s Karen England told California Catholic Daily in a telephone interview she was confident a referendum is feasible. “People are rising up to stop [SB 777],” she said. “The referendum is absolutely doable.”

But even if the referendum is “doable,” Randy Thomasson of the Sacramento-based Campaign for Children and Families, another pro-family lobbying group, says he doesn’t think it goes far enough. “While the voters could reject and stop SB-777, a successful ballot referendum is a one-time deal,” Thomasson told WorldNetDaily. “Despite good intentions, a referendum – 'the power of the electors to approve or reject statutes' – simply does not prohibit the California Legislature from passing the same school sexual indoctrination bill next year, the year after, or whenever."

Thomasson said only a constitutional amendment -- a far more expensive and labor-intensive project -- could “wipe out SB-777 and prevent it from coming back.”

Ray Moore of Exodus Mandate, a nationwide group that promotes Christian private education and home schooling, has another solution: He says it’s time for Christians to abandon the public schools altogether. “This really is a call to conservative and Christian pro-family groups to give up this absurd idea of public school reform,” he observed on the web site “It can't be done. The longer they talk about saving public schools, the longer they prolong this agony.”

The original story can be found at California Catholic Daily.

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