Karen Ocamb

Stop SB 48 Is Back: Equality California Isn't

Filed By Karen Ocamb | November 02, 2011 5:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Politics, The Movement
Tags: California Dream Act, Equality California, Roland Palencia, SB48

The antigay Capitol Resources Institute and their antigay Stop SB 48 "coalition" sent a fundraising email out to supporters claiming they came "so close" to gathering the necessary signatures needed for a Thumbnail image for StopSB48-Sign.jpgreferendum to overturn the California FAIR Education Act and so many supporters pleaded with them to try again - that they are now considering launching an initiative, which would allow them more time to get signatures.

Two points of concern: 1) the board of Equality California has not yet put out their transition plan after the resignation of Roland Palencia so we don't know if a search has been started for his replacement and if the new plan includes taking a lead on any plans to fight Stop SB 48; 2) unfortunately, the conservative campaign to overturn the California DREAM Act may allow Stop SB 48 to piggy-back on their signature-gathering effort - which makes efforts to stop Stop SB 48 that much harder. Stay tuned.

Here's the Stop SB 48 press release:

At least that is what many of you are telling us. Our effort to qualify a referendum to overturn SB48, California's so-called "gay history" bill, came so close to victory but ultimately did not have the signatures. With 504,760 signatures needed, we only came up with 497,404.

It was a remarkable achievement, but not enough.

With the announcement that we could not qualify the referendum, and every day since, we have received inquiries, advice and pleas all pushing us toward another effort to liberate our classrooms from this very bad law.

We hear you and we want California to hear you.

You didn't back down when the opponents called you names. And you didn't back down when they made their threats. So why would you stop just because we did not get enough signatures?

To be sure, a referendum was the most direct route to stopping this misguided law in its tracks. The referendum is called the "people's veto" for a reason. A bill is signed into the law by the Governor. But if the citizens of California can gather enough signatures in 90 days after the Governor signs the legislation, then the law is suspended until the citizens have a chance to vote.

But there are other tools available. An initiative involves a very similar process of gathering signatures, yet the citizens get more time to gather signatures.

We are working on an initiative and will tell you more about that in a number of weeks.

We are also looking into ways to increase our efficiency. Unfortunately a large number of petitions could not be counted because of various errors. Some of the more technical-minded members of our coalition are looking at ways to lower the error rate.

What can you do? While we have heard from so many of you we would like to hear from more. Let us know if you believe this fight should continue. But let us apologize in advance: The coalition that worked to qualify the referendum does not have the staff to respond to all of the emails personally.

You can also help us financially. Yes we are still paying the bills from the referendum effort. And we will need more funds for the future battle. If you can contribute-large or small-the students in California schools and the parents who don't want their values undermined will be grateful.

We hope to hear from you soon.

Please donate to STOP SB 48 today!

(Crossposted at LGBT POV)

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