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Conservative groups want to repeal law on teaching contributions of gays

July 21, 2011 |  4:48 pm

A referendum drive has been proposed to repeal a recently signed state law requiring California schools to teach about the contributions to history of gay, lesbian and transgender Americans.

A coalition of conservative groups announced Thursday that it has filed papers required before it  can begin collecting signatures.

"We think the bill goes way too far and costs way too much," said Karen England, executive director of Capitol Resource Institute, one group supporting the repeal. "We don’t need it to be mandated to teach about transgender historic figures in our schools."

England said the coalition, which also includes the Pacific Justice Institute, needs to collect 505,000 signatures by Oct. 12 to put the measure repealing the law on the ballot. SB 48 by Sen. Mark Leno (D-San Francisco) was signed  recently by Gov. Jerry Brown, who said at the time: "History should be honest."

Leno said Thursday that the groups represent "an extremist voice of the Republican Party.'' And although he recognizes their right to petition for change, "I don't believe that is the sentiment of Californians."

-- Patrick McGreevy

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