- The Washington Times - Thursday, April 6, 2006

The California State Senate Judiciary Committee passed a bill this week that would require public schools to teach students in all grades about the contributions homosexuals, bisexuals and transsexuals have made to society.

SB 1437, which passed Tuesday by all three Democrats on the Senate panel, would also mandate that California schools buy textbooks that “accurately” portray “the sexual diversity of our society.”

The bill initially prohibited the state school board or any governing board from adopting any “textbook or instructional materials … that reflect adversely” on any sexual behavior. But it was later specifically amended to require positive portrayals of homosexuals, bisexuals and transsexuals in all curricula.

Given the measure requires only a majority vote in both the Senate and the Assembly, it is expected to pass both chambers. Then it would go to the desk of Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, a Republican who does not take a position on a bill before it passes the Legislature, an aide said yesterday.

“If Arnold Schwarzenegger wants conservative voters to support his re-election bid, he can’t afford to sign these radical sexual indoctrination bills targeting schoolchildren. … The governor should prepare his veto pen,” Randy Thomasson, president of Campaign for Children and Families (CCF), a Sacramento-based group that opposes SB 1437, said in a statement.

CCF also opposes another measure, AB 606, which already passed the state Assembly, and is awaiting a hearing in the Senate. That bill would prevent discrimination in California schools on the basis of “gender identification (actual or perceived) and sexual orientation.”

But AB 606 would also allow the state school superintendent to withhold “all or part” of state funding of school districts that do not establish and publicize “antidiscrimination and antiharassment” policies to protect those sexual groups and make certain teachers are trained to deal with their concerns.

“That’s just ridiculous. We already have laws to deal with discrimination; these people want to push everything to the Nth degree,” Sen. Dick Ackerman, the Senate Republican leader, said yesterday in a telephone interview.

Mr. Ackerman was the only member of the Judiciary Committee who opposed SB 1437. He said he was not previously aware of AB 606 but was shocked to learn of its contents.

“We’re trying to get people [in schools] to be able to read, write and add,” he said. “We should be concentrating on the basics.”

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