ThinkProgress filed this report from Los Angeles, California.At the California Republican Party convention held in Los Angeles last weekend, a number of social conservative groups purchased sponsorship tables. The Christian Coalition of California, a state chapter of the national organization founded by Pat Robertson, handed out pamphlets and urged attendees to continue to highlight the supposed dangers of what they called the “gay lifestyle.”
ThinkProgress spoke to Robert Newman, the head of the California Christian Coalition, who said his group would be mobilizing its members to repeal the gay education law signed by Gov. Jerry Brown (D-CA) earlier this year. Newman said the law, which “adds sexual orientation to the state’s existing anti-discrimination protections that prohibit bias in school activities, instruction, and instructional materials,” is unnecessary and encourages sexually transmitted diseases. The law also compels school districts to teach LGBT history alongside history of other California ethnic and minority groups.
Asked about the epidemic of gay suicides, Newman dismissed the issue, saying, “I hardly think bullying is a real issue in schools.” He reasoned that some level of bullying is “part of the maturational process” and that the law should be repealed because “there’s no reason to have a special bill for say three percent of the population, period.”
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NEWMAN: Now, with respect to the issue that you’ve addressed, there’s always bullying against people who don’t fit the norm. Its part of growing up, it’s part of maturing. Its not something in which I engaged. I grew up in a Christian home. I didn’t engage in that kind of behavior. People were people. We knew they were unusual behaviors but we went on with life. I hardly think that bullying is a real issue in schools.
FANG: Do you think people being mocked or intimidated on the school-yard, do you think this takes place against people who could be perceived or if they are gay, bisexual, transgender?
NEWMAN: As somebody does with the intellectual, or the teacher’s pet, or somebody who is physically impaired or deviant in some way. It does happen, it’s part of the maturational process of which the authority figures, I should probably refer to them as role models, then help children realize that that’s not okay. But there’s no reason to have a special bill for say three percent of the population, period.