Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger yesterday vetoed a bill prohibiting Californian public schools from portraying gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people negatively.
“I am vetoing Senate Bill 1437 because this bill attempts to offer vague protection when current law already provides clear protection against discrimination in our schools based on sexual orientation,” the governor wrote in his veto letter to the Senate.
The first version of the bill called for lesbian and gay history to be taught in schools.
It would also have included sexual orientation on a list of requirements, such as gender and race, which schools in California cannot ignore or discriminate against and must recognise positively in textbooks.
The Terminator-turned-politician indicated that he would veto the bill in its original form.
The compromise legislation would have prohibited teachers, textbooks and other teaching material in public schools from presenting LGBT people in a negative light.
It is this compromise version of the bill that Gov. Schwarzenegger vetoed yesterday. His decision is a victory for religious fundamentalists.
Randy Thomasson, president of The Campaign for Children and Families said last month that the bill “micromanages public schools by forcing them to promote a gaggle of sexual lifestyles that disturb parents and confuse kids.”
“If Schwarzenegger abandons children by signing any of these school indoctrination bills, pro-family voters will abandon him,” he told CNSNews.com.
Ms Kuehl, a Democratic representative from Santa Monica, made changes to her bill after the governor announced he planned to veto it in an attempt to get some protection for children in the California public school system.
Mr Schwarzenegger argued in his veto message that the changes were “potentially confusing” because the education code already protects against discrimination.
“I and this administration are firmly committed to the vigorous enforcement of these protections,” he said, reports The Associated Press.
Kuehl expressed frustration over the veto and said she had explicitly changed the legislation to address the governor’s opposition.
“I am extremely disappointed that the governor chose to respond to a small, shrill group of right-wing extremists rather than a fair-minded majority of Californians who support this reasonable measure.”
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