ThinkProgress filed this report from Los Angeles, California.At the California Republican Party convention last weekend, ThinkProgress spoke to Tim LeFever, chairman of the board of Capitol Resource Institute, a group collecting signatures to repeal the landmark gay education bill signed by Gov. Jerry Brown (D-CA) earlier this year. The law ensures contributions of gays and gay rights are included in school textbooks, and adds sexual orientation to the state’s existing anti-discrimination protections that prohibit bias in school activities, instruction, and instructional materials.
LeFever, a two-time Republican nominee for Congress in the Sacramento area, told ThinkProgress about the coalition he’s been building to repeal the law. In addition to the Family Research Council, a powerful anti-gay hate group based in DC, and several conservative Christian organizations in California, LeFever said he has received support from the Tea Party. The Tea Party, LeFever explained, is supporting a repeal of gay history out of spite. The Tea Party believes “we haven’t found time to teach the Constitution, but we’re finding time like this,” LeFever said:
LEFEVER: Yeah the Tea Party. We have a number of Tea Party members that are fighting for this and they’re fighting for it not so much on the moral grounds because the Tea Party has made a point of staying away from the traditional moral issues. This does overlap over the many things they do in term of the financial side of it: the idea that we would have to reprint textbooks. And the constitutional aspects of it, that we haven’t found time to teach the constitution in this country but we’re finding time like this. That seems to be the approach for many in the Tea Party.
Of course, federal law already provides a requirement for teaching of the U.S. Constitution. According to LeFever, the Tea Party believes the teaching of gay history somehow undermines that instruction.
ThinkProgress also spoke to Robert Newman, the head of California Christian Coalition. He expressed concerns about the protections against bullying provided by the gay education law and claimed that bullying is not an important issue, and is part of the “maturation process.”
The Chino Tea Party, among others, is encouraging its members to sign the petition for LeFever’s repeal initiative