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Schwarzenegger Appeases His Discrimination-Loving Base September 6, 2006

Posted by newsfittopost in education, legislation, lgbt Issues, non-discrimination laws.
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In an attempt to appeal to right-wing ideologues whose ultimate goal is to impose their religious views on an entire nation, California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger vetoed a bill that would have banned discrimination against gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender students.

Schwarzenegger had been under intense pressure from anti-gay groups to veto the measure. Because these forces of distortion have repeatedly exaggerated and lied about the intent of the bill, it is important to see the exact text (not in its entirety):

Existing law prohibits instruction or school sponsored activities that reflect adversely upon persons because of their race, sex, color, creed, handicap, national origin, or ancestry. Existing law prohibits the State Board of Education and the governing board of any school district from adopting textbooks or other instructional materials that contain any matter that reflects adversely upon persons because of their race, sex, color, creed, handicap, national origin, or ancestry.

This bill would revise the list of characteristics included in these provisions to include race or ethnicity, gender, disability, nationality, sexual orientation, and religion, defined as specified.

With this veto, Schwarzennger has denied gay and lesbian students the right to attend public schools with textbooks free of anti-gay bias or prejudice. Freedom of speech allows bigoted parents to instill anti-gay hatred into their children every minute they are outside of school, but there is no reason public school teachers should be afforded this right. People of color, women, people with disabilities and other minority groups are allowed a bias-free education in California, but Schwarzenegger denied gay and lesbian students this same right.

According to the San Francisco Chronicle, Schwarzenegger vetoed the bill because California already prohibits discrimination in the schools… but he knows better. Discrimination comes in many forms, and the vetoed bill was intended to specifically address discrimination in school curriculum. The law already exists for other groups because lawmakers know it is an otherwise gray area… hence the need for clear legislation.

Today, Schwarzenegger refused to stand up for gay and lesbian students because of adult anti-gay activists who believe these children are “immoral” and “perverted”. A happy day for California anti-gay activists… now it is time for them to focus their attention on grander issues, such as overturning legislation that bans discrimination in housing and employment.

Potential victory speech: “Today, fellow Californians, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has given us the opportunity to continue discriminating against gay and lesbian students, and we thank him for that…”


Schwarzenegger Called “Evil” for Signing Bill Banning State-Funded Bigotry August 29, 2006

Posted by newsfittopost in education, legislation, lgbt Issues, non-discrimination laws, politics.
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California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger is being assailed by anti-gay groups for signing into law a bill that bans state-funded discrimination against gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people. The bill, which is purposely distorted by “pro-family” organizations, simply adds sexual orientation to a list of other minority groups that cannot be discriminated against or condemned in state-funded schools or extracurricular activities. It does not promote gay and lesbian people, as the right likes to claim, but ensures that public school teachers cannot tell their classrooms that gay and lesbian people are immoral and will end up in hell. It seems almost common sense, but Schwarzenegger is taking some heat from anti-gay activists.

Here is what Randy Thomasson of Campaign for Children and Families has to say:

People of conscience are appalled that Arnold Schwarzenegger has trampled religious freedom to satisfy hyperactive sexual activists… Arnold Schwarzenegger has two faces. He speaks at churches and says he believes in religious freedom and family values, yet he’s stabbing pro-family Californians in the back. People of faith are suffering under Arnold Schwarzenegger. He’s not the lesser of two evils, he’s doing evil.

Since when has opposing discrimination been considered “evil”? Since when has Christianity been about making insecure school-aged children listen to anti-gay bullshit? These groups use grandiose terms like “religious freedom” and “family values”, but it is only a disguise for what they are truly saying: We believe the public school system should condemn gay and lesbian students and the lives they lead. We want them to be frightened and humiliated in a public school setting until they are forced back into the closet and emotionally damaged. You are either Christian, gay or neither… there is no overlap.

It is absurd for an organization like Campaign for [Straight] Children and [Heterosexual] Families to claim they are standing up for all children. Banning state-funded humiliation in the classroom should be a universal goal for any group that truly cares about our youth, but apparently gay and lesbian youth aren’t deemed valuable enough for anti-gay groups. They are more concerned with fulfilling an anti-equal rights political agenda than providing a safe environment for children to learn.

For those who have read what anti-gay groups are saying about the California education bill, I encourage you to read the legislation itself. Ignore what the anti-gay right is saying… even ignore what I am saying… read it for yourself and you will understand to what degree anti-gay groups have distorted the real impact of this bill. Here is the heart of the bill:

No person in the State of California shall, on the basis of race, national origin, ethnic group identification, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, color, or disability, be unlawfully denied full and equal access to the benefits of, or be unlawfully subjected to discrimination under, any program or activity that is conducted, operated, or administered by the state or by any state agency, is funded directly by the state, or receives any financial assistance from the state.

Banning tax dollars from funding discrimination… apparently anti-gay groups find it to be “evil”.

Mexico More Progressive Than California? August 22, 2006

Posted by newsfittopost in education, international, legislation, lgbt Issues.
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The California Assembly has passed a bill that requires fair treatment of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people in public school textbooks. The bill would prohibit negative stereotypes about LGBT people in the classroom, school activities and textbooks, but Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger may veto the legislation. A requirement that seems fair enough – not bashing gay and lesbian people who also happen to be in most classrooms – has created quite the controversy in California.

Of course, anti-gay groups have distorted the intent of this bill – to provide a safe and welcoming environment for all students to learn – and have made it about themselves instead. Randy Thomasson of Campaign for Children and Families:

We call upon Governor Schwarzenegger to veto SB 1441 to keep the big nose of government out of religion. SB 1441 punishes people of faith who believe that marriage is for a man and a woman, people who understand that you’re born male or female, not in-between. Religious freedom is an important right that must not be infringed. Conservatives are demanding that the Governor veto this religion-squashing bill.

While the so-called Christian groups complain about how oppressed American Christians are (with “only” 76.7% of Americans who identify as Christian), Mexico seems to have marginalized religious bigotry in its education system.

This year, federally mandated biology textbooks for seventh graders in Mexico will include information on gay and lesbian people and will explain there is nothing wrong with being gay. The government has implemented the new textbooks in an effort to fight discrimination against gay people in the predominantly Roman Catholic country. They have also noted that it could be an effective tool in preventing HIV and AIDS.

The Mexican education plan goes farther than the “controversial” education bill in California. The legislation approaching Schwarzenegger’s desk does not condone gay and lesbian people, it simply adds sexual orientation and gender identity to a list of other minority groups that are protected from hate speech or humiliation during school hours.

Assembly members in California find the watered-down education bill to be a small but important step towards protecting LGBT students. Schwarzenegger claims to support gay and lesbian people despite his veto of the marriage equality bill. Whether he vetoes this bill or not will be a good indicator of whether he truly has compassion for struggling gay and lesbian students and people.

Visit Equality California and voice your support for SB 1441 by sending Schwarzenegger an email.

One other interesting statistic: 60 percent of Mexico City residents support marriage equality and only 26 percent are opposed. Yes, it is an urban area and not a rural village or town, but a telling statistic nonetheless.

UDPATE: Check out what Good As You has to say about the California education bill.

Schwarzenegger Threatening LGBT-Inclusive Ed. Veto May 25, 2006

Posted by newsfittopost in legislation, lgbt Issues, politics.
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Hollywood's… err… California's governor Arnold Schwarzenegger is threatening a veto of the state's LGBT-inclusive education bill. The legislation would add sexual orientation and gender identity to a list of groups that must be included in California textbooks.

Send Gov. Schwarzenegger an email here I believe he is persuadable. Also visit Equality California's Web site for more information about the bill.