Monday, October 10, 2011

Misinformation Used in Attempt to Repeal LGBT History Law

On July 14th, 2011, Governor Jerry Brown signed the FAIR Education Act, which would "amend the [California] Education Code to include social sciences instruction on the contributions of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people" as well as "prohibit discriminatory instruction and discriminatory materials from being adopted by the State Board of Education." Now children who attend public schools in California will learn about great LGBT Americans such as Harvey Milk, who was posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2009. However, religious right groups in California seek to repeal the law by way of a voter referendum. The Capitol Resource Institute, the major backer of the referendum, needs to get roughly 500,000 signatures for it to qualify for the ballot. In order to get these signatures, opponets of the law (SB48) are engaging in a dishonest smear campaign against gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people, as can be seen in the videos below:

In light of this, the Courage Campaign filed a complaint that the StopSB48 group is violating California Elections Code, Section 18600, which states that every person is guilty of a misdemeanor who:

(a) Circulating, as principal or agent, or having charge or control of the circulation of, or obtaining signatures to, any state or local initiative, referendum or recall petition, intentionally misrepresents or intentionally makes any false statement concerning the contents, purport or effect of the petition to any person who signs, or who desires to sign, or who is requested to sign, or who makes inquiries with reference to it, or to whom it is presented for his or her signature.

(b) Willfully and knowingly circulates, publishes, or exhibits any false statement or misrepresentation concerning the contents, purport or effect of any state or local initiative, referendum, or recall petition for the purpose of obtaining any signature to, or persuading or influencing any person to sign, that petition.

The Courage Campaign is currently asking for people to co-sign the complaint.

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