Foes of a new law requiring California public schools to teach students about the historical contributions of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender individuals have filed two proposed initiatives to challenge the statute.
One proposed initiative would repeal the section of Senate Bill 48 mandating LGBT history, leaving in place new requirements that students learn about the role of disabled individuals and members of different cultural and ethnic groups. A second would give parents the ability to opt their children out of instruction related to "social science and family life" that conflicts with their religious beliefs.
Both measures were filed with the state attorney general's office by Richard Rios, who is listed online as the president of the Yorba Ranch branch of the conservative California Republican Assembly. Calls for comment to the phone number listed on the initiative proposal and Rios' home were not immediately returned.
The proposed initiatives mark the second attempt at challenging the law, which was approved by the Legislature and signed by Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown earlier this year.
A drive to place a referendum of SB 48 for next year's ballot fell short earlier this year, with organizers saying they collected close to the roughly 505,000 needed to qualify but not enough to freeze the law and ask voters to decide whether to reinstate it next year.
The recent initiatives are not connected to the referendum effort, but Karen England, the conservative activist who led the referendum campaign, said her coalition is considering a possible initiative of their own.
"We are moving forward with some other language that we hope to file shortly," England said, adding that her coalition does not support an opt out provision.
Unlike a referendum effort, which must be qualified within 90 days of the law signing, initiative proponents have 150 days to circulate petitions and gather signatures. Proponents of the measures must submit to election officials at least 504,760 valid voter signatures to make it on the ballot.
It is not clear whether proponents of the two new measures will have funding to launch a campaign to qualify the initiatives.