Friday, July 14, 2006

Complicated California Senate Bill 1437

I just got an e-mail requesting that I call the governor's office and oppose a bill that "prohibits instruction, or the adoption of any instructional material, that reflects adversely on persons due to sexual orientation. This bill also adds the age appropriate study of the role and contributions of people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender to the social science course of study that covers contribution of men, women, and groups to development of the state and nation." []

The e-mail stated that "the bill requires that all new textbooks (K-12) highlight homosexuals and eliminate all references to 'mom' and 'dad.' Instead they will be referred to as 'sperm donors' and 'sperm receivers.'  This bill is ridiculous, it's expensive and it singles out a small special interest group.  We don't need elementary school children exposed to this nonsense."

I dug around online, reading about the bill, and could not locate any information about textbooks now being required to "highlight homosexuals and eliminate all references to 'mom' and 'dad.' I did not exhaust the literature. I am suspicious when statements like this are made in an e-mail such as this, so I wanted to know more.

I oppose this bill, because I feel parts of it are poorly constructed in my opinion.

However, I do like the fact that the bill changes the wording (regarding non-discrimination) from "sex, color, creed, handicap, national origin or ancestry" with "enthnicity, gender, disability, nationality, or religion." I think that is a good and appropriate improvement. I encourage equity for people.

I oppose the changes as written regarding social science course of study ("age appropriate study of the role and contributions of people who are gay, lesbian, etc."). I think that sexual preference should be a private, personal matter and no preference in print should be given. All people who contribute to California or life on earth should be given appropriate credit without knowing who they prefer for sexual relations. That's just too personal and invasive. If someone has contributed to society, the person should be acknowledged for the contribution. Why do I need to know who they are attracted to or dating or committed to or sleeping with? Will there be a heterosexual pride parade one day, too?

I think a better job could be done writing this language to promote equity without becoming a public relations campaign for a certain population. I'm still defining my position on all this. It is a complex issue and I want to be cautious in response. I want to know more specifics.