Drive to repeal LGBT education law is faltering

Backers of a proposed measure to roll back California’s new LGBT-inclusive education law “would need a miracle” to get enough signatures to qualify it for the ballot, an organizer said this morning.

Gov. Jerry Brown in July signed into law SB 48, the FAIR (Fair, Accurate, Inclusive and Respectful) Education Act by state Sen. Mark Leno, D-San Francisco, requiring that the historical contributions of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people as well as the disabled be accurately and fairly portrayed in school curriculums. The law added these groups to the existing list of under-represented cultural and ethnic groups already included in the state’s inclusionary education requirements.

Conservatives immediately launched a ballot-measure petition signature drive to overturn the law. The committee backing the measure has until tomorrow, Oct. 12, to provide valid signatures from at least 504,760 registered California voters in order to get the measure on next year’s ballot.

Pacific Justice Institute President Brad Dacus sent out an e-mail this morning saying “the news is not good:”

Finally with two days in a row of no mail delivery, collection points around the State were able to get a good estimate of how many signatures we have in hand. While we expect to have a large amount arrive today and even Wednesday (the day we need to turn petitions in) it is doubtful we will get the number of signatures we need to qualify.

Unfortunately, the last several deliveries of mail have not been what was expected and a large number of petitions have been pulled out because of errors.

From all appearances, we would need a miracle to qualify this referendum.

But many of those close to the referendum campaign believe in miracles and want to fight until the very last minute. Are you in?

The only possible scenario for snatching victory from the jaws of defeat is a 24 hour petition marathon. But we need more than just 10 people or even a hundred. We need a thousand people or even more that will start this morning and gather every signature they can. 50 signatures. 100. Even more.

We have petition centers around the State and we will be delivering petitions where we can. We will set up delivery points around the State for Tuesday and up until 10:30 am on Wednesday morning for completed petitions.

But we need volunteers to gather signatures and volunteers to gather more volunteers. And we need you to start as soon as you get done reading this.

Josh Richman

Josh Richman covers state and national politics for the Bay Area News Group. A New York City native, he earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri and reported for the Express-Times of Easton, Pa. for five years before coming to the Oakland Tribune and ANG Newspapers in 1997. He is a frequent guest on KQED Channel 9’s “This Week in Northern California;” a proud father; an Eagle Scout; a somewhat skilled player of low-stakes poker; a rather good cook; a firm believer in the use of semicolons; and an unabashed political junkie who will never, EVER seek elected office.