Bill barring 'mom,' 'dad' from texts passes

California Senate approves, state Assembly expected to OK

The California state Senate today passed a bill that removes sex-specific terms such as "mom" and "dad" from textbooks and requires students to learn about the contributions homosexuals have made to society.

The bill, approved 22-15, would prevent textbooks, teaching materials, instruction and "school-sponsored activities" from reflecting adversely on anyone based on sexual orientation or actual or perceived gender.

A companion bill has yet to go through the legislative process in the state Assembly, but observers believe it likely will pass. It's unclear whether or not Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger would sign the measure if it reaches his desk.

Responding to an argument of the bill's defenders, Randy Thomasson, president of Campaign for Children and Families, charged it isn't "about 'safety' or 'discrimination,' it's about leading children into sexual confusion and destroying their respect for the natural family."

Another opponent, Karen England of the Capitol Resource Institute, says the legislation "seeks to indoctrinate innocent children caught in the tug-of-war between traditional families and the outrageous homosexual agenda."

"The state Senate is so far out of touch with California families that it is beyond alarming," said England. "The traditional family is under attack and this is a latest � and most outrageous � attempt to corrupt the minds of our children."

England said school districts also would likely have to do away with dress codes and "accommodate transsexuals on girl-specific or boy- specific sports teams."

Sponsored by Democratic Sen. Sheila Kuehl � a lesbian actress best known for playing Zelda in "The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis" in the 1960s � the legislation would add "gender" (actual or perceived) and "sexual orientation" to the law that prohibits California public schools from having textbooks, teaching materials, instruction or "school-sponsored activities" that reflect adversely upon people based on characteristics like race, creed and handicap.

"We've been working since 1995 to try to improve the climate in schools for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender kids, as well as those kids who are just thought to be gay, because there is an enormous amount of harassment and discrimination at stake," Kuehl explained. "Teaching materials mostly contain negative or adverse views of us, and that's when they mention us at all."

"In textbooks, it's as if there's no gay people in California at all, so forget about it," she added.

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