The StopSB48 coalition announced this afternoon that, despite the heroic efforts of hundreds of volunteers, not enough signatures had been collected to stop implementation of the law on January 1. Thus, voters will not get a chance to vote on the controversial law that mandates LGBT-friendly history and social studies in California public schools.
Pacific Justice Institute drafted the referendum and worked day and night with pro-family allies to inform voters and warn parents about the consequences of failing to overturn the law. Brad Dacus, president of PJI, commented on today’s announcement, “Obviously, we are extremely disappointed that we did not get the needed signatures. At the same time, we are encouraged that, with almost no money but a dedicated band of volunteers, we were able to collect nearly half a million signatures. We are absolutely convinced that most Californians, if given the chance, would vote to overturn SB 48, and we are committed to redoubling our efforts to engage citizens who have tuned out Sacramento politicians. Unfortunately, what people don’t know about their out-of-control government can really hurt them—and their kids.”
Dacus estimated that the StopSB48 coalition gathered more than two-thirds of the needed signatures while spending less than two percent of the amount spent by some other recent campaigns to place initiatives on the ballot. This level of efficiency, he believes, will draw more coalition partners and donors to ensure the next such effort succeeds.
Pacific Justice Institute expects that, as a result of SB 48, many parents will encounter highly objectionable material in their children’s schools, as early as this school year. If this happens to you, please contact PJI immediately through our website, www.pji.org.
Washington, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court announced today that it will not review a decision siding with a California church that had not been allowed to use its property for religious assembly. The order denying a petition from the City of San Leandro, just across the bay from San Francisco, means that local governments throughout the West Coast will be held more accountable by federal courts when they restrict the locations of religious congregations.
The church, Faith Fellowship Worship Center, is represented by Pacific Justice Institute. PJI President Brad Dacus noted, “We are gratified that the U.S. Supreme Court has allowed to stand the favorable decision we won at the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. That decision strikes an important balance between both the legitimate goals of city planners and the fundamental rights of religious congregations to exist and be treated fairly in the zoning process.”
The church filed suit in 2007 after the City of San Leandro denied zoning requests for a new building the church had purchased. In court, the City justified its decision by arguing that the church would not create the economic impact desired by the city for the location. The City also claimed that the church should respond to its growth by farming out its ministries to numerous smaller sites spread throughout the city. Church leaders and religious liberty advocates were alarmed that such reasoning—which was initially accepted by a federal district judge in San Francisco—would have led to increased governmental restrictions on religious groups. The case now heads back to the federal court that initially sided with the City, but with instructions from the Ninth Circuit to take a different approach.