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Assembly Passes SB48 Requiring Schools To Include Study of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual & Transgender Historical Figures, Sends Measure To Governor Brown

by Joe Mello, LBReport.com Community Correspondent

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(July 6, 2011) -- The California Assembly -- with the support of LB area lawmakers -- has voted to approve SB 48, requiring schools to include the study of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) Americans and persons with disabilities to the list of groups whose role and contributions must be accurately portrayed in instructional materials and included in social science instruction.

The measure, titled the Fair, Accurate, Inclusive, and Respectful Act ("FAIR Act") by its supporters, cleared the Assembly on a 49-25 vote on Tuesday July 5, 2011.

The bill also adds sexual orientation and religion to the list of characteristics that should not be reflected adversely in adopted instructional materials. To view the full bill text, click here.

The party line vote saw all Assembly Democrats -- including co-authors Assemblywmembers Bonnie Lowenthal (D, LB) and Warren Furutani (D, Carson-LB) -- vote for the measure. All Assembly Republicans voted against the bill that would require textbooks and other instructional materials used in public schools to include age appropriate information about the historical contributions of gays, lesbians and transgender Americans.

In April 2011, after passing the Senateís Education Committee chaired by the billís co-author Senator Alan Lowenthal (D, LB), the measure was approved by the full Senate with Sen. Lowenthal and Senator Rod Wright (D, PV-LB-Inglewood) joining other Democrats in a similar party line vote approving the measure 23-14 vote.

The bill now goes to Governor Jerry Brown (a Democrat) who has 12 days to sign it or veto it. Gov. Brown has not yet taken a public position on the bill. A similar bill was passed five years ago, but was vetoed by then Republican Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.

In June, a legislative anlaysis by the Assembly's Education Committee listed the following supporters and opponents of SB48:

SUPPORT

          Equality California (Sponsor)
          Adolescent Health Working Group
          Anti-Defamation League
          Arc and United Cerebral Palsy in California
          Asian Americans for Civil Rights & Equality
          California Communities United Institute
          California Language Teachers Association
          California State PTA
          California Teachers Association
          Californians for Disability Rights, Inc.
          City of Oakland
          City of West Hollywood
          Disability Rights California
          Gay-Straight Alliance Network
          Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom
          Los Angeles Unified School District
          Our Family Coalition
          Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays National
          San Francisco Unified School District
          The Arc and United Cerebral Palsy
          Many individuals

OPPOSITION

          California Catholic Conference, Inc.
          Calvary Assembly of God
          Calvary Chapel Foothill Ranch
          Capitol Resource Family Impact
          Catholics for the Common Good
          Concerned Women for America of California
          Faith Assembly of God
          Granada Hills Community Church
          Lighthouse Baptist Church
          Rancho Christian Center
          New Harvest Christian Fellowship
          The Rock
          Santa Maria Foursquare Church
          Traditional Values
          Valley Life Free Church
          Vina Community Church
          Numerous individuals



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