'Gay Day' Bill Passes California Senate Committee

By Susan Jones | May 7, 2009 | 8:44 AM EDT

(CNSNews.com) – A bill designating May 22 as “Harvey Milk Day” in California passed a state senate committee on Wednesday. Six Democrats and one Republican voted in favor of the bill, and two Republicans voted against it.
A conservative group calls it “one of the worst bills in California history,” but a homosexual advocacy group says the bill will explain “how important Harvey is to all Californians.”
Harvey Milk, an openly homosexual man elected to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, was shot and killed on November 27, 1978 – along with San Francisco Mayor George Moscone – by another supervisor who had recently resigned and wanted his job back.
The text of SB 572 says that "On Harvey Milk Day, exercises remembering the life of Harvey Milk and recognizing his accomplishments as well as the contributions he made to this state" should be conducted; specifically, "all public schools and educational institutions are encouraged to observe...and...conduct suitable commemorative exercises."
"If signed into law, SB 572 will mean an official day commemorating homosexuality, bisexuality, and transsexuality in California government schools, without parental permission," said Randy Thomasson, president of SaveCalifornia.com.
Thomasson says the bill would “encourage public schools to positively portray to children any and all facets of homosexuality, bisexuality, and transsexuality, and anything else that's 'in the closet.'”
It has nothing to do with academic achievement – and tramples on parental rights, Thomassons said.
Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger vetoed a similar bill last year, indicating that Milk’s contributions were not of statewide significance: He said those contributions “should continue to be recognized at the local level by those who were most impacted by his contributions."
SaveCalifornia is urging Californians to contact their state senators to press for a no vote on SB 572. “Parents don't want this, and children don't need this," the activist group said in a news release.
Equality California, a homosexual advocacy group, is urging Californians to sign a petition urging Gov. Schwarzenegger to sign the legislation if it reaches his desk.
“Harvey Milk was—and still is—an inspiration not only as one of the first openly gay men elected to office, but as a trail blazer who understood the value of working with allies, the importance of living our lives openly with authenticity and the power that our stories have to change hearts and minds,” Equality California says on its Web site.
The California Legislature is expected to once again pass the bill and send it on to Gov. Schwarzenegger.