imc indymedia

Los Angeles Indymedia : Activist News

white themeblack themered themetheme help
About Us Contact Us Calendar Publish RSS
Features
latest news
best of news
syndication
commentary


KILLRADIO

VozMob

ABCF LA

A-Infos Radio

Indymedia On Air

Dope-X-Resistance-LA List

LAAMN List




IMC Network:

Original Cities

www.indymedia.org africa: ambazonia canarias estrecho / madiaq kenya nigeria south africa canada: hamilton london, ontario maritimes montreal ontario ottawa quebec thunder bay vancouver victoria windsor winnipeg east asia: burma jakarta japan korea manila qc europe: abruzzo alacant andorra antwerpen armenia athens austria barcelona belarus belgium belgrade bristol brussels bulgaria calabria croatia cyprus emilia-romagna estrecho / madiaq euskal herria galiza germany grenoble hungary ireland istanbul italy la plana liege liguria lille linksunten lombardia london madrid malta marseille nantes napoli netherlands nice northern england norway oost-vlaanderen paris/Île-de-france patras piemonte poland portugal roma romania russia saint-petersburg scotland sverige switzerland thessaloniki torun toscana toulouse ukraine united kingdom valencia latin america: argentina bolivia chiapas chile chile sur cmi brasil colombia ecuador mexico peru puerto rico qollasuyu rosario santiago tijuana uruguay valparaiso venezuela venezuela oceania: adelaide aotearoa brisbane burma darwin jakarta manila melbourne perth qc sydney south asia: india mumbai united states: arizona arkansas asheville atlanta austin baltimore big muddy binghamton boston buffalo charlottesville chicago cleveland colorado columbus dc hawaii houston hudson mohawk kansas city la madison maine miami michigan milwaukee minneapolis/st. paul new hampshire new jersey new mexico new orleans north carolina north texas nyc oklahoma philadelphia pittsburgh portland richmond rochester rogue valley saint louis san diego san francisco san francisco bay area santa barbara santa cruz, ca sarasota seattle tampa bay tennessee urbana-champaign vermont western mass worcester west asia: armenia beirut israel palestine process: fbi/legal updates mailing lists process & imc docs tech volunteer projects: print radio satellite tv video regions: oceania united states topics: biotech

Surviving Cities

www.indymedia.org africa: canada: quebec east asia: japan europe: athens barcelona belgium bristol brussels cyprus germany grenoble ireland istanbul lille linksunten nantes netherlands norway portugal united kingdom latin america: argentina cmi brasil rosario oceania: aotearoa united states: austin big muddy binghamton boston chicago columbus la michigan nyc portland rochester saint louis san diego san francisco bay area santa cruz, ca tennessee urbana-champaign worcester west asia: palestine process: fbi/legal updates process & imc docs projects: radio satellite tv
printable version - js reader version - view hidden posts - tags and related articles

SB 48 Referendum: THE Epic Struggle for Queer Rights in California

by Mark Gabrish Conlan/Zenger's Newsmagazine Saturday, Aug. 27, 2011 at 7:04 PM
mgconlan@earthlink.net (619) 688-1886 P. O. Box 50134, San Diego, CA 92165

Roland Palencia, executive director of the Queer lobbying group Equality California (EQCA), calls the radical Right's attempt to get rid of the FAIR Education Act, also known as SB 48, "the greatest threat in years to LGBT [Queer] Californians." The Act adds Queer people, people with disabilities and Pacific Islanders to the list of communities whose "role and contributions" to American and Californian history and society must be acknowledged in lessons and textbooks used by the California public schools. Radical-Right activists, including some of the same people who successfully eliminated marriage equality in California via Proposition 8, plan to make it a referendum on the very existence and legitimacy of the Queer community and will likely wage an ugly campaign based on many negative stereotypes of Queer people. Palencia's group is fighting back by setting up a broad, mostly non-Queer coalition, and he, EQCA regional field director George Zander and openly Queer San Diego Unified School District board member Kevin Beiser spoke at the predominantly Queer San Diego Democratic Club August 25 to mobilize its members to join the campaign and help organize the grand coalition.

SB 48 Referendum: TH...
palencia.a.jpg, image/jpeg, 600x766

SB 48: THE Epic Struggle for Queer Rights in California

Equality California Director Warns About Upcoming Referendum

by MARK GABRISH CONLAN

Copyright © 2011 by Mark Gabrish Conlan for Zenger’s Newsmagazine • All rights reserved

PHOTOS, top to bottom: Roland Palencia, Kevin Beiser

“This is the greatest threat in years to LGBT [Queer] Californians,” Roland Palencia, executive director of Equality California, warned the predominantly Queer San Diego Democratic Club at their August 25 meeting. The great threat he and two other speakers — EQCA’s regional field director, George Zander; and Kevin Beiser, openly Queer member of the board of the San Diego Unified School District — were there to mobilize against is the radical Right’s referendum campaign to repeal SB 48. Also known as the FAIR (Fair, Accurate, Inclusive, Respectful) Education Act, and signed into law by Governor Jerry Brown July 14, SB 48 requires California public middle and high schools to teach “a study of the role and contributions of Pacific Islanders … Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Americans, persons with disabilities, and other ethnic and cultural groups” in social-science classes.

It might not seem like much of a change from previous law — which contained similar requirements to teach the role and contributions of “Native Americans, African Americans, Mexican Americans, Asian Americans, … [and] European Americans” — but a coalition of radical-Right activists similar to the ones that successfully pushed through Proposition 8, banning legal recognition of same-sex marriage in California, are aiming to get the repeal of SB 48 on the June 6, 2012 ballot. Palencia and Zander, EQCA’s regional field manager for the Palm Springs area and a former San Diegan, came to the club to warn of the consequences for the Queer community if SB 48 is repealed by California’s voters — and to present the coalition they’re organizing to defend the law at the ballot box.

SB 48 “is about historical accuracy, and our enemies are portraying this as ‘the homosexual agenda’ and saying this is what will turn kids Gay,” Palencia warned. “It’s not going to be a referendum on the merits of whether we have contributed. It’s going to be a referendum on the entire Gay community. They’re going to use this as a platform to demonize and marginalize our community. No matter what the issue is — marriage equality, employment rights, fairness, education, safe schools — they always go back to their core issue: that it’s a threat to families and children. We’re going to have to address it head on and deal with it very directly.”

According to Palencia, the campaign to repeal SB 48 will be based on the radical Right’s tried and true stereotypes about Queers: “that we are haters, we have a homosexual agenda, and we want to make everybody Gay and teach about sex.” His coalition plans to answer with the argument that it’s people with anti-Queer prejudice, not Queers, that threaten children and families. “Discrimination and creating a hostile environment in school is dangerous,” he said, adding that one reason Queer adolescents are at higher risk for alcoholism, drug abuse and suicide than non-Queers is “the pressures on Gay students” from bullies, who often feel inspired and reinforced by anti-Queer ballot campaigns like the one which passed Proposition 8 and the one likely to be waged against SB 48.

Beiser, who stayed behind and fielded questions after Palencia had to leave for another meeting, said he was wearing “two different hats.” As a school board member, he said, he has to get ready to implement SB 48 by “making information available to history teachers” so they themselves can learn about the contributions of Queer Americans and then be able to teach it to their students. He also spoke as a Queer educator, saying that there’s nothing new about radical-Right attempts to write school curricula to eliminate the historical and social contributions of groups they don’t like.

“In the 1980’s, when the state started adding Martin Luther King and the [African-American] civil rights movement, they fought back against it and wanted to keep that information away from students,” Beiser recalled. He stressed that the campaign to protect SB 48 must stress that all the law requires is that students receive “age-appropriate, factual instruction,” and cited a 2003 study, “Safe Place to Learn: Preventing School Harassment,” by the California Safe Schools Association [available at http://www.casafeschools.org] that argued that teaching the sorts of lessons mandated by SB 48 can actually keep Queer middle-school and high-school students from being bullied and make them feel more secure.

“School climate is improved, students feel safer, students hear fewer slurs and less name-calling, and harassment is less frequent when students report that they have heard about LGBT issues at school,” the “Safe Place to Learn” report said. “For example, 67 percent of students who have learned about LGBT issues at school said their school is safe for LGBT students, compared to 40 percent of students who have not learned about LGBT issues at school. … Students who have learned about LGBT issues at school were also more likely to feel they have a voice at school and make positive contributions to school.”

Asked how the opposition is working to get the repeal of SB 48 on the ballot, Palencia said, “They’re focusing on their network of churches. They have to collect 500,000 valid signatures by October 12, so they’re probably shooting for 650,000 to 700,000 for a margin of error. We have spotted signature gatherers in Temecula and Amador County, but we don’t know if they’re being paid. They may be confident enough that they can raise the signatures through their churches, but if they need to go with paid signature gatherers, a million budget would be enough to get it on the ballot.”

“Right now, we’re also contacting our base,” said Zander, who took over as Equality California’s spokesperson after Palencia left the meeting — he had another speaking engagement during his whirlwind San Diego visit. Zander explained that a decline-to-sign campaign, aimed at targeting signature gatherers and getting people they approach not to sign the petition, “is possible,” but only if the anti-SB 48 side stops relying on volunteers at churches and starts paying people to gather signatures. They’ve set up a hotline for people to call, 1-(877) 440-9585, to report any sightings of people circulating the anti-SB 48 petition.

Questions from the audience focused on whether Equality California would make the same mistakes a lot of people thought they did in the Proposition 8 campaign — particularly in making straight people the public faces of the campaign and pushing Queers into the closet in their own civil-rights struggle — and whether the group, whose expertise is as a lobbying organization, is the right one for the very different task of running an election campaign. Also, at least two people — one of them both blind and Queer — urged the campaign to focus on the disability community because repeal of SB 48 will sanction educational discrimination against them as well as against Queers.

Palencia conceded that Equality California doesn’t have the expertise to run a ballot campaign but said that the “regionally based structure, focused on experience” they’re creating to fight the repeal will draw in people who know how to run campaigns. As for whether Queer people will be relegated to the background of the campaign, Palencia said, “This is going to be a referendum on our community. We really have to be front and center as to who we are and what our values are.” Elsewhere during the meeting, though, he and Zander boasted that most of the current coalition-building efforts are focused on non-Queers.

According to both Palencia and Zander, they are involving disability groups in the campaign from the get-go. “We learned so much from the past,” Zander said. “The organization we have helped create is mostly straight. [The disability issue] is clearly part of it. What we’re talking about now is organizing. It includes the disability and Pacific Islander communities. This campaign is not Gay-based. We’re here [at the San Diego Democratic Club] because you’re the organizers and we need you now in San Diego.”

“If I were to message a series of ads right now, I’d say the opposition hates the LGBT community so much they’re willing to hurt the disability and Pacific Islander communities,” said former San Diego Democratic Club president Craig Roberts. “They’re going to try to make this about our community, and it’s not just about our community. That actually adds to our viewpoint that non-Gays could benefit us by reminding the voters that this isn’t just about the LGBT community. It’s about the disability community and the Pacific Islander community also.”

Another audience member asked what outreach they’re doing to the African-American and Latino communities — who voted for Proposition 8 in higher percentages than whites or Asians, largely because of the power and influence of the churches in their communities. Palencia named the Jordan Rustin Coalition and Latino Equality Alliance as groups they’ve already reached out to, and said they “expect to expand the coalition to non-Gay Black and Latino groups” — but he admitted they don’t yet have the NAACP on board.

Responding to a question from former club president Jeri Dilno about the influence California and Texas, as the two largest purchasers of school textbooks in the U.S., have on the content of the books and what students are taught from them, Beiser explained that at least as far as adopting books is concerned, “in Texas they don’t have separate local school boards. There is one school board, and it’s statewide, so it’s hyper-influential nationwide.” According to Beiser, the Texas board’s war against non-traditional depictions of gender have gone so far that “they wanted to take out pictures of women in souits and put in pictures of women in aprons holding plates of cookies.”

Beiser warned that the public schools will be an ideological battleground for as long as they exist. “There are a lot of groups trying to [use the schools to] control minds,” he said. “The plastics industry is trying to put into textbooks information on how great plastic bags are.” He compared the Queer rights struggle to the efforts of women in Saudi Arabia who are committing civil disobedience by getting into cars and driving, in defiance of a Saudi law making it illegal for women to drive. “Our struggle is for freedom,” Beiser said, “and we have to stand up against censoring anyone, whether it’s Filipinos, disabled people, or LGBT people.”

The San Diego Democratic Club unanimously passed a resolution fully supporting the implementation of SB 48 and urging people “to refuse to sign petitions entitled ‘Referendum to overturn non-discrimination requirements for school instruction’.” At the suggestion of former club president Stephen Whitburn, the resolution also contained a commitment to oppose the referendum should it qualify for the June 6, 2012 ballot — meaning that the club will have to urge its members and supporters to vote yes to keep SB 48 in place.

Report this post as:

Kevin Beiser

by Mark Gabrish Conlan/Zenger's Newsmagazine Saturday, Aug. 27, 2011 at 7:04 PM
mgconlan@earthlink.net (619) 688-1886 P. O. Box 50134, San Diego, CA 92165

Kevin Beiser...
beiser.a.jpg, image/jpeg, 600x742

Report this post as:

Local News

Change Links September 2018 posted S02 10:22PM

More Scandals Rock Southern California Nuke Plant San Onofre A30 11:09PM

Site Outage Friday A30 3:49PM

Change Links August 2018 A14 1:56AM

Setback for Developer of SC Farm Land A12 11:09PM

More problems at Shutdown San Onofre Nuke J29 10:40PM

Change Links 2018 July posted J09 8:27PM

More Pix: "Families Belong Together," Pasadena J02 7:16PM

"Families Belong Together" March, Pasadena J02 7:08PM

Short Report on the Families Belong Together Protest in Los Angeles J30 11:26PM

Summer 2018 National Immigrant Solidarity Network News Alert! J11 6:58AM

Watch the Debate: Excluded Candidates for Governor of California M31 5:20AM

Change Links June 2018 posted M28 7:41AM

The Montrose Peace Vigil at 12 Years M22 8:01PM

Unity Archive Project M21 9:42AM

Dianne Feinstein's Promotion of War, Secret Animal Abuse, Military Profiteering, Censorshi M17 10:22PM

CA Senate Bill 1303 would require an independent coroner rather than being part of police M10 9:08PM

Three years after OC snitch scandal, no charges filed against sheriffs deputies M10 8:57PM

California police agencies violate Brown Act (open meetings) M02 8:31PM

Insane Company Wants To Send Nuke Plant Waste To New Mexico A29 11:47PM

Change Links May 2018 A27 8:40AM

Worker-Owned Car Wash on Vermont Closed A27 5:37AM

GUIDE TO REBEL CITY LOS ANGELES AVAILABLE A13 12:39AM

lausd whistle blower A11 6:58AM

Website Upgrade A10 10:02AM

Help KCET and UCLA identify 60s-70s Chicano images A04 8:02PM

UCLA Luskin: Casting Youth Justice in a Different Light A02 6:58PM

Change Links April 2018 A01 6:27PM

More Local News...

Other/Breaking News

Antrhopocène, le grand effondrement S19 9:53AM

Creative Destruction Hack Diamonds Windows/iOS/Android - Creative Destruction Generator S19 12:51AM

Abolir l'économie S18 11:18AM

The Dictatorship of Corporations S17 5:26PM

18 Lethal Consequences Of Hunting S17 3:13PM

Paraphysique de l'outplacement déontologue S15 6:51AM

Creative Destruction Hack Mod Generator S15 3:49AM

Shopping du bashing S14 8:42AM

After Lehman Brothers, Experts Say Global Financial Crisis Can Happen Again S13 8:28PM

“Animaniacs in Concert!” Starring Voice Legend Rob Paulsen S12 9:30PM

Probabilités de fin d'humanité S12 6:49AM

Florida Area of Migrant Farmworkers Denied Right to Construct Health Clinic near NaplesCIW S11 2:57AM

Propagande de virus, virus de propagande S10 7:34AM

Steer clear of work morality! S09 12:10PM

Sweatshop Lodge Ceremony Continues in US Fed Prisons Led by Inmates S08 6:17PM

Paraphysique de l'origami S08 7:11AM

The Shortwave Report 09/07/18 Listen Globally! S06 11:23PM

August 2018 Honduras Coup update S06 12:28PM

Du réussissement putréfié S06 10:55AM

Brett Kavanaugh Filled The 5th Circuit With Execution Judges S06 6:14AM

Log S06 4:25AM

Augusta Georgia Woman Gets 5 Year Prison Sentence for Writing About Russians Crime Acts S05 8:29AM

Paraphysique de contextualité S05 8:29AM

Crisis Regulation in Global Capitalism S03 3:39PM

Ex-voto de réification S03 10:24AM

Please Oppose Warmonger, Execution and Torture Supporting Bush Operative Brett Kavanaugh A31 10:45PM

Paraphysique d'exploitation occultation A31 10:24PM

Ryan Zinke Is Charging Taxpayers For A Trophy Hunters' Council A31 2:10PM

More Breaking News...
© 2000-2018 Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Unless otherwise stated by the author, all content is free for non-commercial reuse, reprint, and rebroadcast, on the net and elsewhere. Opinions are those of the contributors and are not necessarily endorsed by the Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Running sf-active v0.9.4 Disclaimer | Privacy