A California group is attempting to overturn a law requiring state school social studies curriculums to include positive portrayals of homosexuals. Signed into law last year by Governor Jerry Brown (photo), the Fair, Accurate, Inclusive and Respectful (FAIR) Education Act (S.B. 48) requires that “lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Americans are included and recognized for their important historical contributions to the economic, political, and social development of California, and … that discriminatory bias and negative stereotypes based on sexual orientation are prohibited in school activities and instruction, and instructional materials,” read a synopsis of the legislation by its chief sponsor, State Senator Mark Leno.
But a group led by the conservative Pacific Justice Institute (PJI) is attempting to gather the 500,000 signatures needed for a ballot initiative that would overturn the law, replacing it with what proponents call the Children Learning Accurate Social Science (CLASS) Act. Kevin Snider, chief counsel for PJI and one of the leaders of the initiative, said that the change is needed to bring clarity to what is taught in the state’s social studies classes.
“We think that all people have aspects of their life, both good and bad, and we do children a terrible disservice if we sugarcoat history,” Snider told Baptist Press News. “History needs to be told accurately.”
In addition to overturning S.B. 48, the CLASS Act would clarify what can and cannot be taught in social studies classes. Snider said the ballot initiative would serve to “bring back a sense of moderation and reason into the study of social science,” adding that a person would not be “excluded because he or she belongs to a protected class — including gays or lesbians — nor will that person be included because he or she belongs to a protected class.”
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