SACRAMENTO, CA - Opponents of a new law hope to keep gay rights history out of California schools.
Earlier this month Gov. Jerry Brown signed SB 48, a measure approved by lawmakers that requires gay rights and contributions of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) Americans to be included in California textbooks.
Within hours, the California Attorney General's office received a letter requesting a title and summary for a ballot referendum to repeal the law.
READ: Opponents of LGBT law file referendum
Randy Thomasson of Save California and other groups opposed to teaching LGBT history in school said they believe it sends children the wrong message.
"Social engineering of homosexual, bisexual and transsexual lifestyles is being done behind parents' backs. Most parents say no to this," Thomasson said.
Thomasson recommends that parents take their child out of public schools and home school them or put them in church schools.
But Mario Guerrero of Equality California, an organization that sponsored SB 48, said the law is simply about civil rights and fairness.
"We know there has been an exclusion of LGBT people in history," Guerrero said. "We have been a part of history before time was even recorded."
Opponents have 90 days from the time law was enacted to collect 504,760 petition signatures to put the referendum before voters.
"Do something that will help children and tells politicians -- hands of my kiddos," Thomasson said.
"We're hoping that when they approach people to sign (petitions), people will see through their lies and see that this is a non-issue," Guerrero responded.
Organizers on both sides of the issue have already started raising funds to campaign for their position on the LGBT history law.
By Karen Massie, firstname.lastname@example.org