Efforts to repeal first law on gay rights history fail

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SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Opponents of a California law requiring that the contributions of gays and lesbians be taught in public schools have failed in their attempt to qualify a ballot referendum to repeal the law.

Groups that had been circulating signature petitions said they would not meet the Wednesday deadline to file.

Traditional Values Coalition spokesman Benjamin Lopez tells The Associated Press the groups felt they were not in a position to file. He would not say how close they came to collecting the required 505,000 petition signatures.

The groups wanted to force a vote on Senate Bill 48, the nation’s first law requiring that public schools include gay rights milestones and gay and lesbian contributions in social studies lessons. It takes effect in January.