2011 Left Coast Hall of Shame

Sacramento, CA – As we look back on 2011, Pacific Justice Institute remembers ten of the year’s worst developments for religious, constitutional and parental rights in its 2011 Left Coast Hall of Shame.

1. San Juan Capistrano shuts down home Bible study. A Southern California city founded by a religious mission fined a Bible study group for meeting in a home. After PJI intervened, the city backed down.

2. Mt. Soledad cross declared unconstitutional. The one and only Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals gave a big thumbs-down to the large cross on a San Diego hillside that was raised decades ago as a war memorial.

3. SB 48 forced on California. The Golden State became the first to specifically mandate that history and social science classes include positive portrayals of lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgender people (LGBT). A few weeks later, some schools celebrated “Gay History Month” by focusing on luminaries like Lady Gaga.

4. The Obama administration abandons defense of marriage. Taking a cue from California officials’ refusal to defend a voter-approved affirmation of traditional marriage, the Obama Justice Department first offered a weak defense, then stopped even pretending to defend the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).

5. Parents cut out of decisions about kids’ HPV vaccines. Lobbyists for big drug companies have poured tens of thousands of dollars into the coffers of California politicians. That money paid off this year, as the Legislature enacted AB 499, which allows them to inject kids with a controversial vaccine for human papillomavirus, which is sexually transmitted. The drug makers will get paid by the feds and don’t have to ask parents for permission.

6. Marin County school ignores parent opt-out, tells middle schoolers about homoerotic fantasies. We’ll spare you the details here, but suffice it to say this presentation had zero educational value.

7. Supreme Court uses technicalities to nix pro-parent ruling. In a surprisingly good move, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals tried to rein in social workers who interrogate kids about their home lives when their parents aren’t around. Unfortunately, the U.S. Supreme Court came up with a hypertechnicality and overturned the decision.

8. San Franciscans attempt to ban circumcision. It’s a ritual as old as Abraham and Isaac, but some residents of the Bay Area believe that it inhibits pleasure, so they gathered enough signatures to put circumcision to a vote. After a public outcry, the Legislature stepped in to protect the ancient religious practice.

9. Oakland school teaches kids about multiple genders. Are you a boy, girl … or something else? That’s the question an elementary school is teaching children to ask themselves, with a little guidance from a group called “Gender Spectrum.”

10. Unions support out-of-control Occupy protests. In California, the Occupy protests have featured calls for violent revolution, “solidarity” with the accused White House gunman, and riots. So how have major labor unions responded? With praise for the movement and copycat Occupy events of their own.