Friday, July 15, 2011

California FAIR Act, Prop8, and Harvey Milk.

CA governor Jerry Brown this week signed SB48, The Fair, Accurate, Inclusive, and Respectful (FAIR) Education Act , which mandates inclusion of gay people in instructional materials. The fundies' heads are exploding.

You see, one of the big scare tactics they used for Prop8 was that if gay people got married, then children would learn about gays! But if gay people didn't get married, they wouldn't!

On Twitter, I saw a post that said,
This is exactly WHY I voted YES on Prop8. Cuz I don't want my children influenced to be gay in any kind of way!!

So, this parent thinks that by learning that gays exist, their kids will be gay. Clearly one of those who thinks we all choose to be gay. (Aside: why would anyone choose to be gay? My personal opinion is that the fundies think that gays have better sex, and thus more people knew about gay sex they'd become gay. This suggests the fundies have lousy sex lives. But I digress.)

The first thing is that this exposes the Prop8 backers as liars. You see, denying marriage equality never did have anything to do with the schools. My favorite tweet is from The Rev Susan Russell:
Since we're going to teach about gays in school anyway, can we have marriage equality back now in CA, please?

You have to wonder if the supporters of Prop8 will realize that their backers lied to them.

The second thing is what the FAIR act, and the kerfuffle it's causing, reveals about the antis. And what it reveals is their desire to make us invisible. If they have to admit we exist, then they might get to know us. They might have to justify their abusive treatment of loving gay families.

Still, you might ask, isn't this a bit much? Mandating teaching about gay people>?

Well, In 2009, a school in Southern California told a sixth grader that she could not present a school report about Harvey Milk unless her classmates had parental permission to attend.
Natalie Jones, a sixth grader at Mt. Woodson Elementary School in Ramona, California, was given an assignment in an independent study project class to write a report on any subject she found interesting. She chose Harvey Milk. Milk, the United States’s first openly gay elected official, was one of Time Magazine’s “Time 100 Heroes and Icons of the 20th Century” in 1999, has been the subject of several books, an opera, a documentary film that won the 1984 Academy Award for Documentary Feature, and a feature film released in 2008 that won two Academy Awards for Best Original Screenplay and Best Actor.

After Natalie got a near-perfect score on her report, her class was told to make PowerPoint presentations about their reports, which they would show to other students in the class. The day before Natalie was to give her 12-page presentation she was called into the principal’s office and told she couldn’t do so.
The school said that because Harvey Milk was gay, a report about him fell into the category of sex education and the students would have to get permission slips to hear her presentation. Simply by mentioning his sexuality, it was "sex education". You see, the very fact that gay people exist is a threat, because of course it's all about SEX.

Really, that's their obsession with sex again.

Harvey Milk was an immensely influential progressive politician. He was gay. He was assassinated. This is an important period in California history and students should learn about it. Now they will.



Brilliant. AMEN! (Sharing ... and NOT just because you quoted my tweet! :)

JCF said...

Apocryphal story about a "Victorian Lady" hearing about Darwin's Theory of Evolution:

"Goodness! We must pray it isn't true. And if it IS true, we must pray it does not become widely-known."

See re H8ters and Teh Gay: "We must pray they simply cease to exist. And if they do NOT cease to exist, we must LEGISLATE they are never, ever heard about!"

I was so pleased Gov Jerry signed this---feared his delay meant he was bailing (I tried calling his office yesterday morning, but couldn't get through)