New law pushes homosexuality in schools
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (BP)--California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger last weekend kept his promise in vetoing a "gay marriage" bill but also signed a bill that conservatives say will have a stifling effect on religious freedom in public schools -- not to mention in promoting the homosexual agenda in schools unlike any other piece of legislation in recent memory.
The new law is known as the California Student Civil Rights Act and is similar to one that the Republican governor vetoed last year. Its promotion of "civil rights" apparently is a misnomer, though.
The law directs teachers not to "give instruction" and school districts not to "sponsor any activity" that "promotes a discriminatory bias" against homosexuality, bisexuality or transgenderism. Its senate sponsor was Democrat Sheila Kuehl, an open lesbian.
"Its impact will be extensive throughout California's public school system," Ron Prentice, chief executive officer of the California Family Council, told Baptist Press. "The bill is written in such a way to promote homosexuality. So for those who promote this bill to say that it is neutral is ridiculous. This bill in its very core is discriminatory towards anyone who disagrees with the homosexual lifestyle."
The law eventually could, legislative experts say:
-- prevent Christian teachers from giving their own orthodox, Bible-based opinion about homosexuality as well as force them to teach students ideas contrary to their own beliefs.
-- radically change what students are taught about families, since instruction about the natural, traditional family with a mother and father could be viewed as "promoting a discriminatory bias" against same-sex couples.
-- prevent health teachers from providing students with facts about the unhealthy nature of homosexuality.
-- require special bathrooms be provided for cross-dressing students claiming to be transgendered.
-- alter or halt such yearly events as homecoming courts and the naming of the "king" and "queen."
"This one is huge," Prentice said of the law's significance. "... It can only promote homosexual lifestyle and behavior as a positive, normal aspect of humanity."
In addition, the law adds agnosticism and atheism to a list of religious beliefs that are protected in public schools.
Schwarzenegger signed the bill Oct. 12, the same day he vetoed a "gay marriage" bill for the second time in his administration.
Michael Foust is assistant editor of Baptist Press.