PEOPLE FOR THE AMERICAN WAY: MARCH ON
People For the American Way news release for 2000-MAY-18:
ACTIVISTS MARCH ON CAPITOL URGING ASSEMBLY TO CHANGE 'HOSTILE CLIMATE'
People For the American Way, California lawmakers and other
activists fanned out at the state capitol today hand-delivering "Hostile
Climate," a nationwide PFAW Foundation report on anti-gay activity, to
lawmakers and urging them to fully implement existing law intended to help
prevent bias-motivated violence in public schools.
"We hope lawmakers will take notice of the real-life stories of
Californians who have suffered from incidents of hate and bigotry,"
said Julia P. Fitz-Randolph, California Director for People For the American
Way. "By enacting AB 1906, legislators would send the message that they
are serious about teaching our children to reject messages of hate and
AB 1906, sponsored by Assemblymember John Longville, would fully implement the Hate
Violence Prevention Act by removing funding restrictions that impair
implementation of the statute. Currently, the State Board of Education may adopt
policies and establish guidelines regarding hate violence prevention in public
schools, but only if its actions do not result in increased costs, a condition
making it virtually impossible for the law to have any effect.
Joining People For's efforts were Assemblymembers John Longville and Shiela
Kuehl; Jean Harris, Director of California Alliance for Pride and Equality;
Alana Flores, a student who has filed suit against her local school district
stemming from anti-gay harassment in a Morgan Hill high school; and Chris
Hwang with the National Center for Lesbian Rights, who is representing
Ms. Flores in her lawsuit.
People For the American Way is working with local activists across the
country in coordinating the hand-delivery of "Hostile Climate"
with support for the passage of anti-discrimination and hate crimes legislation.
PFAW recently delivered books to Florida and New York legislators. The highest
number of incidents reported in the book come from California.
"By supporting AB 1906, legislators can help change the hostile climate
weathered by children who are faced with a lack of tolerance and respect for
their differences," said Fitz-Randolph. "With adequate support,
our schools can help stop the violence before it starts by encouraging an
understanding and appreciation for California's diverse population."
- Press releases from the People for the American Way can be seen at:
- The PFAW's annual report: "Hostile Climate," describes
300 incidents of anti-gay discrimination by governments, businesses, elected
officials and others in 47 states -- more than twice as many as the 1998
edition. You can order a copy for $14.95 plus shipping from their web site
at: http://www.pfaw.org/hc/ For $25,
you can send a copy to a politician.
Copyright � 2000
Originally written: 2000-MAY-18
Latest update: 2000-MAY-18
Author: B.A. Robinson