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08/10/2011

Briggs 2.0: Same Lou Sheldon, same California schools -- same bias motivation

by Jeremy Hooper

As you may already know, Rev. Louis Sheldon's Traditional Values Coalition (a longtime SPLC "hate group") is currently petitioning to have California's FAIR Education Act overturned:

Screen Shot 2011-08-10 At 5.18.49 Pm

So that being the case, I just want to take a second and remind Californians of the last time (or at least the most infamous time) that Louis Sheldon tried to use his personal religious beliefs to shun LGBT people in the state's public schools. For that we need to journey back to those funky 1970's, when the very same (though possibly more polyesthered) Louis Sheldon was distributing the very same kinds of petitions as part of an ultimately failed attempt to ban certain kinds of teachers:

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Ironically, the Briggs Initiative and the man who so successfully challenged it, the late Harvey Milk, are likely to be noted when fair discussions of the state's 20th century history come up in a typical public school year, at the appropriate grade level. So no wonder Sheldon doesn't want inclusive education in state schools -- who'd want such an epic, pointedly hurtful failure (that even Ronald Reagan opposed) on his or her lifelong record?

Though I do have to admire one thing about the past effort. Look at the text: "Sign this petition TODAY! Ban homosexual teachers!" Can you imagine our modern opposition (TVC included) being so honest about their intentions? Nowadays, in NOM's carefully workshopped world, it's all about code wording and false stakes (e.g. "protect marriage"). It almost makes you yearn for the day when disco was king, opposition leaders smelled of orange juice, and the even more overreaching opposition at least had the fortitude to own their goals.

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