June is a busy month for California's state legislators. While many of them campaign for their party's vote in the June 6 primary election, they also face a June 15 deadline to deliver a state budget to the governor for his signature. Meanwhile, thousands of legislative bills await reviews, hearings and votes before the end of August.
With the two-year legislative term ending Aug. 30, proponents of special rights for homosexualsdoubling as California legislatorshave submitted a four-bill package for approval into state law. One of these billsSenate Bill 1437will mandate the inclusion into public school textbooks stories of homosexuals, bisexuals, and transsexuals who have made positive contributions to state and national progress. SB 1437 will also expand homosexuality as a protected class of people. In fact, if textbooks, instructional materials, or classroom lectures make "adverse" statements about this group or its behaviors, this bill mandates legal consequences against schools and teachers.
SB 1437, Kuehl, D-Los Angeles, passed the Senate on a 22-15 vote and is now going through the committee process in the Assembly. This measure effectively shields the issue of homosexuality behind the cover of sexual identity and gender discrimination. Analysts predict that this bill will easily pass out of the Assembly and that the only possibility of defeating SB 1437 is by a veto from Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger in September.
Kuehl's Senate Bill 1441 also serves to further legitimize homosexuality, bisexuality and transsexuality in California's laws. It, too, has passed a Senate vote and is now being considered by the Assembly. Both bills attempt to define "sexual orientation" as either real or perceived. That is, a teacher or employer would be mandated to accommodate a person according to that person's "perceived" sexual orientation. Someday soon, your local high school could have its first female as the Homecoming "King," or schools could not sanction restroom use based on physiological gender. SB 1441 adds actual or perceived "sexual orientation" to anti-discrimination laws covering state programs and activities.
With these two bills, the homosexual caucus is mandating that all people, regardless of their religious or personal beliefs, must accept homosexuality as the norm in California and protect those of this sexual orientation, regardless of the rights of other members of the society who may disagree about the parameters of this homosexual behavior.
Other advances sought
Two Assembly bills also focus on advancing the pro-homosexual agenda. Assembly Bills 606 and 1056 are in the Senate committee system and are set to be heard in the next few weeks. AB 606, Levine, D-Van Nuys, requires local school districts to "establish and publicize an anti-discrimination and anti-harassment policy" that prohibits any discrimination or harassment based on sexual orientation, effectively equating the protection of race and gender with sexual orientation.
AB 1056, Chu, D-Monterey Park, is an education bill that would require Californians to fund a pilot project at a cost of $250,000 for the next five years. Ten public schools would be chosen to use a curriculum promoting homosexual "tolerance."
See the end of this column for more information on how to fight these bills.
State budget fight
On May 12, Schwarzenegger submitted his revised 2006-2007 budget to the state Legislature. With an increase in state revenues of more than $10 billion dollars, the governor has made education funding and loan repayment his top priorities.
Highlights of his 2006-2007 budget include more than $1 billion going to pre-pay and repay present bonds, $142.2 million to increased services for public safety, and an increase in education funding to $55 billionan increase of $11 billion. Public education would now be given about 65 percent to 75 percent of the state's total budget. The governor also desires to place $2 billion into a reserve account.
With the structure of the May revised budget, the governor hopes to ensure that new one-time revenues are used for one-time purposes. He also hopes to improve the state's fiscal condition by paying down the debt and repaying the monies borrowed in 2004-2006, which were used to ward off the potential of bankruptcy.
Barbara McPherson is the legislative program manager for California Family Council.