The State Column | John Sammon
Though I’m often an independent, the government’s current attempts to re-write the history book based on sexual persuasion brings out the long-dormant occasional conservative in me.
An effort has been launched in Sacramento to let voters decide if they want to repeal Senate Bill 48, sponsored by Democrats in the Legislature and signed by Governor Jerry Brown two weeks ago. Set to take effect in January, the law would require public schools to teach about societal contributions made by gay and lesbian people, the first such requirement in the nation.
Sen. Mark Leno D-San Francisco, SB 48 sponsor, said historically, California’s gay and lesbian population have been discriminated against and demonized. He added that the state would do a disservice by not calling attention to the contributions of these people.
Opponents of SB 48 including a coalition of groups led by legislative Republicans and the Sacramento-based Pacific Justice Institute, a nonprofit that defends religious freedom and parental rights, contended that a person’s accomplishments should not be judged by sexual preference. They said it’s also unfair to people who oppose homosexual lifestyles for religious or moral reasons. Opponents are gathering 505,000 signatures to place the issue before voters on the ballot next year.
The core supposition is that gay people have been excluded from history textbooks. If that is the case, the books should be revised to include those people who in the past have been left out, but not with a sexual preference next to the achievement as though it was instrumental in the achievement.
Redressing past injustices by calling attention to a person’s achievements and linking it directly to their sexual orientation creates a new separate class of people that runs counter to the most basic notion of fairness—-that we are all one and the same.
Put another way, you’re saying that you’re no different than me, but that you are different, if it’s put in a good way.
Oscar Wilde shouldn’t be identified as a great gay writer, only great. A deep understanding of the human condition in Wilde’s case probably was a greater influence on his being a great writer than his sexuality.
If Babe Ruth had been gay, you wouldn’t call him a great, gay, left-handed hitter. He was just a great hitter period.
Lawmakers shouldn’t Balkanize achievement by linking it to sexuality.