Governor vetoes textbook LGBT protection Senate
Bill as needless
From the Office of Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger
September 6, 2006
Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger today vetoed SB 1437 by Senator
Sheila Kuehl, D-Santa Monica, which would not enhance protections
offered under current law against discrimination based on sexual
Full text of the veto message:
To the Members of the California State Senate:
No teacher or textbook in our schools should ever intentionally
demean or disparage any group in our society, including discrimination
based on sexual orientation.
I am vetoing Senate Bill 1437 because this bill attempts to offer
vague protection when current law already provides clear protection
against discrimination in our schools based on sexual orientation.
Education Code section 200 referring to Penal Code section 422.55
governing "hate crimes", provides that "It is the
policy of the State of California to afford all persons in the
public schools, equal rights and opportunities in our state educational
institutions, regardless of their sex, ethnic group, race, national
origin, religion, disability and sexual orientation.
Education Code section 220 expands the protection of section
200, prohibiting such discrimination in "any program or activity"
conducted by an educational institution. In addition, Education
Code section 60045, subdivision (a), provides that all instructional
materials shall be "accurate, objective, and current and
suited to the needs and comprehension of pupils at their respective
This protection specifically covers school programs, activities,
instruction and instructional materials. I and this administration
are firmly committed to the vigorous enforcement of these protections.
SB 1437 deals exclusively with Education Code sections 51500,
51501, and 60044 prohibiting instruction, materials and activities
that "reflect adversely" on persons. Not only is this
term extremely vague, and potentially confusing, but I am not
aware of any published case brought under these code sections
in which individuals within the protected classes have successfully
protected their rights under these statutes. But courts have confirmed
that individuals in the protected classes can state a legal claim
for violation of education Code section 200 and 220.
Therefore, since the Education Code already specifically protects
against discrimination to groups based on their sexual orientation
and includes programs, instructions and instructional materials.
I am vetoing this bill because the vagueness of the term "reflects
adversely" would not strengthen this important area of legal
protection from bias based on sexual orientation.