Greater San Diego Business Association
By Rivka Israel, Esq.
Family Legal Ease, Law Office of Rivka Israel, Esq.
On July 13, 2011, Governor Jerry Brown signed Senate Bill 48, also known as the FAIR Education Act (Fair, Accurate, Inclusive, and Respectful Education Act). This bill then became law on July 14, 2011, and actually went into effect in January of 2012.
Senate Bill 48 was initially introduced in the Senate in December 2010. Prior to the adoption of this law, the existing law required that instruction in social sciences include the contributions of men, women and other specified categories of persons to the development of California and the United States in general. Though the previously existing law did prohibit instruction or the adoption of textbooks or other educational materials that reflected adversely or promoted discrimination based on race, sex, color, creed, handicap, and other categories, the lack of a specific legal requirement to include the contributions of these groups enabled discrimination in education via exclusion of contributions of these classes of individuals to the development of California and the United States. The newly enacted and effective law requires schools to add not only the contributions of LGBT Americans in educational materials to their curriculum, but those of disabled Americans and other minorities as well. This is significant because inclusion of the contributions of these individuals has been shown to lead to a more general acceptance and respect for these classes of people and less hatred and discrimination against them.
Since the adoption of this law, there have been groups who have sought to repeal it. In November of 2011, two groups in particular have sought statewide ballot initiatives for the November 2012 elections. The initiatives of both these groups have now been approved for circulation and signatures. Of these two groups, one has sought to reach their desired Anti-LGBT goal by leaving the new law largely intact in their proposed legislation and primarily removing all references to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender Americans, and sexual orientation. In doing so they are less likely to offend the other minority groups included in the new legislation. This approach is especially dangerous for the LGBT community as it removes their actions from the interests and attentions of the other minority groups remaining unaffected by the proposed changes, leaving the LGBT community and its supporters to fight this battle on their own.
Though this subject may, to some, not seem much of a concern, it is crucial that these Anti-LGBT groups not succeed in the objective of suppressing the contributions of our community and those of other minorities to the history of California and United States in general. This law has a direct influence on our children in the way they view themselves, their parents, and the place of both in society in general.
Rivka Israel, Esq. is a local Family Law attorney who focuses a good deal of her practice on the LGBT community and can be reached at LavenderLegal@yahoo.com, by telephone at (858) IT’S-EASY (487-3279) or on the web at FamilyLegalEase.com
Other Useful Resources: