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“Now you must raise your children up in a world where that union of man and box turtle is on the same legal footing as man and wife…”
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Posts for January, 2008

Californina Referendum Effort Fails

Jim Burroway

January 12th, 2008

Opponents of California’s new law which protects students from discrimination, harassment and bullying based on the basis of gender or sexual orientation in the public schools, announced yesterday they failed to collect enough signatures to put a referendum on the ballot to repeal the law:

In an e-mail announcement issued around 2 p.m. yesterday, which coincided with a Sacramento press conference, Karen England, director of the Save Our Kids Campaign, said backers of the referendum had collected over 350,000 signatures – more than 80,000 short of the 434,000 valid signatures needed to force a statewide plebiscite on the law in the June elections.

Last October 12, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger signed SB 777 into law after an acrimonious campaign among social conservatives to persuade him to veto it. Opponents claimed that the law would “promote homosexuality” and “persecute” Christians.

Three days after Gov. Schwarzenegger signed the law, Capitol Resource Family Impact, a Sacramento group, filed a referendum with the state attorney general’s office. They then formed the Save Our Kids Campaign to collect signatures before the January 10 deadline to put the referendum on the ballot.

Never one to concede defeat, England tried to turn lemon into lemonade:

“For a completely volunteer-driven campaign to obtain this number of signatures is unheard of,” said England in her e-mailed announcement. “We had to overcome incredible difficulties during our signature gathering, including the holidays, and the results are astonishing. While we didn’t reach the threshold of required signatures, we have surprised political observers with the amazing amount of signatures we gathered in just 70 days. It is unheard of for a volunteer-only effort to find this kind of support, especially in a state as large as California.”

England also announced that with the referendum effort dead, they have filed an initiative with the Attorney General’s office and will begin collecting signatures again. Meanwhile, a legal challenge to the law is still before the courts.

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