The group, Stop SB48, which is named after the law, faced a Wednesday deadline to turn in just under 505,000 signatures to put the law on the ballot and give voters the opportunity to overturn it. In an e-mail, the group said, "We thank all of you that worked so hard to provide the hundreds of thousands of signatures received. In the end, 90 days was too short a time to accomplish such a large task."
They gave no precise number of how many signatures had been gathered. Backers ran the effort out of the offices of the Capitol Resource Institute, a socially conservative advocacy organization in Sacramento. The institute's executive director, Karen England, also was the leader of the referendum.
The nearly all-volunteer effort faced not only a short time frame, as referendum signature drives must be completed 90 days after the governor signs a law, but also a lack of significant contributions from national socially conservative organizations. The backers of the referendum noted that second issue in their e-mail.
Gov. Jerry Brown signed SB 48 on July 14. The bill requires California public schools to include LGBT history in all curricula. The bill has been slammed by conservatives and many churches, who launched a signature drive to repeal the bill.
Pastors seeking to repeal the Fair Education Act held a now-infamous prayer rally last September where they forcibly ejected gay activists from a Los Angeles church. Anti-gay activists with Stop SB 48 were also documented lying in signature collection—claiming that the repeal would "protect children" from child molesters.
Anti-gay activists vow there will be another "battle".