A California coalition of anti-LGBT groups is seeing its hopes dashed in the fight to repeal a rights bill for transgender students.
According to the Washington Blade, the so-called Privacy for All Students Coalition initiative claims it has collected the required number of signatures to force a ballot initiative, but initial samplings of the collected signatures so far shows an unacceptably high number of false signatures.
Privacy for All Students is an anti-LGBT lobbying organization made up of representatives of two other virulently anti-LGBT groups, the Pacific Justice Institute and the National Organization for Marriage (NOM), both of whom are listed by the Southern Poverty Law Center as hate groups. The two groups formed the California coalition almost before the ink was dry on the California Success in School and Opportunity Act, which allowed transgender students from grades K to 12 to use the restroom or other sex-segregated facility that corresponds to their gender of identification, not their birth gender.
The group faced a deadline last Thursday, by which time it was required to have collected 504,760 signatures in order to have a chance to repeal the Act via a ballot initiative. However, since the group turned in its 613,120 signatures last week, data checkers have found an unacceptably high percentage of bogus names among the signees.
On average, the verified signatures are only about 75 percent accurate, which is for short of the 95 percent rate of accuracy required for an initiative overturning the law to be placed on the ballot.
John O’Connor of Equality California told the Blade that it’s “unlikely, but not impossible” that the initiative to overturn the Act could make the ballot.
“They’re going to need an 81.41 percent validity rate to qualify for the ballot,” O’Connor told the Blade. “You can see that they’re well below it currently. That 81.41 percent would be well above the average for any signature gathering activity. So, I mean there’s very real reason to hope that they’re not going to, but nothing’s conclusive itself until the process ends, and, sadly, we just have to give it it’s time to work.”
Mara Keisling, executive director of the National Center for Transgender Equality, said to the Blade, “While we wait for the official results of the signature verification, we’re optimistic that, because of our friends in California, the ballot initiative will fail. The Transgender Law Center, the National Center for Lesbian Rights and Equality California, among others, moved quickly to counter the repeal effort. And what we’ve shown is that campaigning against transgender kids won’t win in California or anywhere else.”
David Ferguson is an editor at Raw Story. He was previously writer and radio producer in Athens, Georgia, hosting two shows for Georgia Public Broadcasting and blogging at Firedoglake.com and elsewhere. He is currently working on a book.
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