Opponents of a California law requiring that the contributions of gays and lesbians be taught in public schools failed Wednesday in their attempt to qualify a ballot referendum to repeal the law, the Associated Press reports. 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. Groups that had been circulating signature petitions said they would not meet Wednesday’s deadline…

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staff and wire services reports