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An effort to repeal a new law requiring that California school instruction includes the contributions and role of gay and lesbian individuals has failed.

Opponents of Senate Bill 48 announced today that they fell short of the roughly 504,000 voter signatures needed to qualify a referendum of the law for the 2012 ballot. Today is the deadline for submitting those signatures to election officials.

"In the end, 90 days was too short a time to accomplish such a large task," referendum organizers wrote in an email blast titled "We fought the law and the law won."

SB 48, signed into law by Gov. Jerry Brown in July, requires public school instruction to include the role and contributions of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals, people with disabilities and members of different cultural groups.

The referendum effort, led by Pacific Justice Institute and an arm of Capitol Resource Institute, failed to attract major funding to back their qualification campaign. Organizers sent a flurry of last-minute appeals for volunteers and signatures in recent days, telling supporters yesterday that it would take a "miracle" to collect enough petitions by today's deadline.


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