Following the passage of California's S.B. 48 -- the FAIR Education Act (bill text) -- opponents immediately launched a referendum campaign aimed at stopping the law, which would amend the Education Code to include social sciences instruction on the contributions of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people, as well as those of persons with disabilities and members of other cultural groups. This bill would also prohibit discriminatory instruction and discriminatory materials from being adopted by the State Board of Education.
Now, Pastor Jack Hibbs of Calvary Chapel Chino Hills has launched an ad for the referendum organization aimed at recruiting "pastors and church leaders" in the fight to "stop S.B. 48."
"If we do not stop [S.B. 48] by referendum," he says on the video, "this will be the indoctrination of our children, pastor, on our watch. I'm asking you to join me to make this commitment to defend our children in the state of California.
He then encourages people to download, print out and sign the petition to hold a referendum on the law.
Hibbs concludes: "Understand, this is not a political issue. This is a righteousness issue that has been taken from us by a rogue government that took it away from our opportunity that the voice of the California people might say so."
Despite the muddled message, the online ad is prompting action from pro-LGBT groups.
Both the Courage Campaign and Equality California put out requests today for donations to fight the referendum campaign, with new EQCA executive director Roland Palencia focusing on the link to marriage equality in an email to supporters, writing, "Some of us may not immediately make the connection between our fight for marriage and the FAIR Education Act. Here's the link: in every single campaign, no matter what the issue—anti-discrimination law, marriage equality, safe schools or hate crimes—our opponents have again and again used cruel stereotypes about LGBT people being a harm to kids and families as a weapon against us. Winning the fight on this core issue will remove one of the last major barriers standing between us and full, lasting equality—including marriage equality."
Watch the ad: