The Class Act Is Not Exactly FAIR

I bet the San Bernardino County Democratic Party would love to have me instead of Ray Moors in their party right now. However, I will cringe hard in either major political party. I honestly may agree with the Republicans half the time, but when it comes to civil rights issues I have to be chugging the antacid pills when I attend the meetings at the San Bernardino County Republican Party. I bet Ray is feeling like an outcast in the Democratic Party right now.

I do not feel enthusiastic in participating in my local county and state Republican parties because they do not understand how to deal with groups such as Latinos and the gays. Even though the Democratic Party does not know how to balance a budget to save their lives in Sacramento, the Republican Party alienates more voters than they attempt to reach out to in California. The Republican revolution of 2010 failed in California. If Steve Cooley only refused to defend Prop 8 and supported marijuana users we would have had our only victory.

I am writing this column today in response to a letter the San Bernardino County Republican party issued in their support of the CLASS Act to repeal SB 48.

Republicans may be concerned that teachers and students are prohibited from using examples or language that would be not be adverse about the individual being studied. However we have to be tactful about what language we use because it can affect the students because they may be part of a demographic group discussed.

Being LGBT is not like switching religions or catching the flu, either you are or you are not. Watching a KD Lang concert will not make young girls want to drive Subaru and play in softball leagues. The goal of SB 48 is to show that there are LGBT people in history and many of them did great things such as save a president’s life from assassination, help Martin Luther King in his quest for civil rights for African Americans and to help in the formation of computer science. Maybe with a more holistic presentation of history it would help make students worldlier, so we can have respect for all students no matter what group or culture they may belong to.

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Pro SB 48 Letter I Wrote

This letter may be edited in the newspaper, but this is what I submitted.

Ignorance, prejudice and fear walk hand in hand for those who want to strip out the information about the accomplishments of the LGBT community from the recently passed SB 48. The proponents for the repeal drive do not want the sunlight of information to humanize the LGBT community in our schools so they can use the community as a means to dehumanize and demean these individuals for political power and contributions.

Unfortunately the proponents believe that just knowing about LGBT people will make people become LGBT. Knowing about gay people is not going to make you want to be gay, either you are or you are not. Because of ignorance we have a lack of understanding or compassion. Fear leads to bullying and harassment in our school house walls. If we want kids to not be fearful of being beaten up or intimidated we should do our best to make our schools safe. When students are confident and happy, they perform well by giving themselves better grades.

Matt Munson

Ontario, California

It Must Be Obvious California Republicans

Want to know how the Republican Party can reach out to the areas that used to vote for Republicans such as Silicon Valley and the Central Valley? It is quite easy, stop being bigoted towards LGBT people. As someone who was bullied for being perceived as LGBT in high school, I find it disgusting that the political party I was weaned on has throw the raw meat on the balcony instead of expanding our political appeal.

Hearing the rhetoric that led to 97.5% of the Republican caucus to vote no on SB 48 and AB 9 makes me embarrassed to be a Republican. SB 48 and AB 9 is not about indoctrination of our children, it is about making safe and affirming learning environments so our children can learn. Is that too much to ask for, Mike Morrell and Jean Fuller? When I thought the only major hostile legislators were Joel Anderson and Bob Huff, learning that most of the caucus does not care about the marginalized in our school house walls makes me fight harder despite the odds.

When students are in fear of being beaten up and harassed where they take their lives in the instance of Seth Walsh who lived in Jean Fuller’s district or the ongoing harassment by students and staff in Bill Emmerson’s district in Menifee you know that these laws are absolutely needed where a school district failed to provide equal access to a gay straight alliance for gay history month when they allowed the black students association to do a presentation for black history month.

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History Education Must Not Be Erased

Recently Governor Brown signed SB 48, a bill that adds Asian-Pacific, the disabled and the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered community in the state education code to require accurate positive contributions from the people who make up the state of California.

Because the LGBT community got added to the section of the education code in the teaching of social science, traditional values advocates are on the warpath to make sure the community gets erased from our K-12 social science textbooks. The proponents from the repeal movement are willing to lie for the lord to make sure social science gets saved from the queers by scaring parents, particularly mothers to gain the support to win repeal by stating that “homosexuality will be taught in Kindergarten” and other choice phrases that led to Proposition 8 having a narrow victory in 2008. In SB 48’s text it states that the education is locally determined and age appropriate. Mark Leno or Ellen DeGeneres is not going to write the history curriculum. In Kern County you might see the information only in the textbooks, but in Los Angeles County you might have more detailed lessons.

Proponents of the repeal want to make it legal where educators can give hostile lectures as in Florida where Jerry Buell expresses his hostility to groups he disagrees with such as LGBT people and brings his dogma to the classroom. Educators such as Jerry have the right to free speech such as posting his diatribes on Facebook, but educators have a responsibility to be professional, inclusive and welcoming when they deliver their lessons to the students.

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Decline to Sign SB 48 Repeal

The opponents of equality strike again with their latest production Abolish SB 48, the recently passed law that aims to repeal the inclusion of lesbian, bisexual, gay and transgendered people in our social science curriculum.

When the opponents of equality strike back in our public school classrooms with condemnation and hostility it does not help with core academics because there is not an environment for all students to succeed at their very best where students drop out or at worse kill themselves.

Knowing about LGBT people is not going to turn someone LGBT, you either are or you are not. Even if you move to North Dakota on the road to denial there are still will be LGBT people. If SB 48 is retained it will do the following, it
will help LGBT youth realize they are not alone and there are great people in history like Banyard Rustin, Mark Bingham, Tammy Baldwin and Gerturde Stein. For our straight students knowing about these historical individuals would give them a better understanding of LGBT people and would help accept their LGBT classmates better.

Karen England and Brad Dacus, the proponents of the repeal could care less if LGBT students drop out of school or kill themselves the next day. SB 48 is not going to cost us extra money, Karen and Brad attack the LGBT community as monsters and children of lesser value in order to line their pockets with money.

I would encourage the general public to not sign the SB 48 petition from any paid signature gatherer in front of our local shopping centers. History should be inclusive and communities should not be erased from textbooks due to animus.

SB 48 Likely Going To Have Nasty Ballot Fight for Repeal

The reason that they don’t want the contributions of LGBT people included is the same reason they don’t want us in the military, getting married, teaching school, etc.: It makes it much harder for them to demonize us when others learn of the contributions of LGBT people, serving our country, building a family, helping children, etc. And when you can’t convince others to hate, you can’t convince them to donate $$$ to support the hate of the Family Research Council, NOM, Traditional Values Coalition, etc. So, as usual with sleazy conservatives, it all boils down to they will do anything, say anything for a buck. –  SF Chronicle forum post

Karen England, the chairwoman of the Capitol Resource Institute strikes again, she uses ignorance, prejudice and fear to provide her meal check. When students become more knowledgeable that LGBT people are actual human beings and they do not need to be demonized then people like her will not have to make a living from her hate.

SB 48, the revolutionary bill to add the accomplishments of people who happen to be LGBT has received loads of public scorn from people who happen to live in the inland areas of our state. Parents think it’s a sensitive issue because they want to have the right to discuss this issue first and have the right to implant their children with their values no matter how ugly their beliefs may be.

Maybe if  many traditional values advocates were not taught to have ignorance, prejudice and fear of LGBT people we would not need bills such as AB 9 and SB 48. My high school bully was a raised in a home who was taught by his parents to dislike and torment people who are different than him. If students do not have to come to school or leave school in fear of being beaten up, then that would be very beneficial to academics.

I wish we all could come together in perfect harmony so we can learn to coexist. When you work in the business world such as a sales clerk at the local mall, to being a stock broker at the brokerage house you learn to respect all customers even if they are different than you.

Our public schools serve all students, the schools are not just for Christians, or even LGBT people. We have to be pluralistic to make sure they can serve all students. If you want a niche education you have to pay for it with your own money.

If the equality campaigners have to endure a ballot fight in 2012, we will need to define the issue before  Schubert-Flint who won the Yes on 8 campaign does. We need to have stories of actual students and humanize the issue so Karen England will no longer have the erasers to tell the people of California that LGBT people do not exist.

LGBT History Matters

As someone who aspires to teach History and Government to the secondary grade students, I support SB 48. The contributions of people who happen to be part of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered community should be included in history. Because LGBT people are not mentioned in our textbooks they are invisible to the eyes of many students even though LGBT youth are opening themselves to the world at a younger age and straight students are becoming aware of them in their schools.

The reason why there is opposition to SB 48 is that the traditional values community wants to keep the LGBT community invisible. They want to do the final solution to the LGBT people like how American preachers such as Scott Lively of Temecula, California flies to Uganda to advocate for the extermination of LGBT people.

However traditional values advocates want to keep the LGBT community invisible and make sure their youth maintain their world view, even though they will be dealing with LGBT people in their daily lives such as at work or as their neighbors. I just find it sad that when anything deals with LGBT issues, they always say its sexualizing education. When an office worker puts a picture of their straight spouse and children isn’t that an expression of your sexuality?

When we have a supportive school environment, school achievement improves. For the conservatives who state that we should be focusing on improving our state’s abysmally low test scores, reading, writing and arithmetic first. Bills such as AB 9 and SB 48 are key in helping to improve school achievement. There is an actual study done in Oregon done by the Columbia University school of public health that proves this fact. When people are less likely to want to kill you or torment you where you are fearful that you will get beaten up before our after school, you will want to be attending school and not want to surrender to the bullies.

Without LGBT people we would likely of had an injured or dead President Ford, the civil rights movement by Dr.Martin Luther King would not of been as effective, World War II would of lasted longer and we would not have powerful computers as we have today.

I do hope Governor Brown signs this bill, but with our initiative process I am fearful that Frank Schubert and friends will make another campaign to show that even in areas that elect left leaning Democrats they still can be just as regressive as Alabama voters. This is why I advocate for California to use the Initiative and Referendum process of Nevada where constitutional amendments must be passed in two consecutive elections with the same language.

Students Should Know the Contributions of LGBT Americans in American History

There is a new bill that aspires to require state schools to teach about the contributions of gay, lesbian and transgendered Americans in school curriculum. However there is an outcry from traditional values advocates and social conservatives against the proposed bill from State Senator Mark Leno, SB 48.

SB 48 would require that social science texts and other instruction include “a study of the role and contributions of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered Americans to the economic, political and social development of California and the United States of America, with particular emphasis on portraying the role of these groups in contemporary society.This bill also has rules stating that school districts would have the flexibility to decide which age groups received such instruction. So if Bakersfield wanted to discuss these topics in the junior year of high school and San Francisco wants to discuss this in the fifth grade, then that would be the choice of the particular communities of our state.

Maybe the best idea would be is to have it passively mentioned in our social science textbooks, and if a teacher does not want to discuss the subject then that is the right of the educator or the school district. Maybe if people knew some leading LGBT people in American history such as Oliver Sipple, a decorated Vietnam War veteran who saved President Ford’s life during an assassination attempt in California or Bayard Rustin, a civil rights activist who helped make the March on Washington possible for Martin Luther King people would have better understanding of LGBT people. I just find it absurd from the mouths of legislators  such as State Senator Bob Huff that “SB 48 will sexualize the training of our children at an early age”, when there are clauses that prevent school districts from being mandated to discuss these subjects in the early grades and just because people know that Ellen DeGeneres is a lesbian is not going to convert people to be queer.

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