California Bill Would Require Gay History in Schools

Would be first state to launch mandate
By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 15, 2011 9:25 AM CDT
California Bill Would Require Gay History in Schools
State Sen. Doug LaMalfa, R-Butte, called on lawmakers to reject the measure yesterday.   (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)

(Newser) – California could be the first state to require that schools teach gay history. Lessons on gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people would be added to social studies classes under a landmark bill passed yesterday by the state Senate, the AP reports. The state Assembly and Gov. Jerry Brown must approve the bill—which would also ban the use of textbooks that paint gay people in a negative light and would add disabled people to the curriculum—before it becomes law.

The bill gives school districts flexibility in deciding what to include in the lessons and at what grades students would receive them. Supporters say the move is needed to counter anti-gay stereotypes and beliefs that make children in those groups vulnerable to bullying and suicide. But "I'm deeply troubled kids would have to contemplate at a very, very early age, when many of us are teaching abstinence ... what is sexuality," says a Republican state senator. (Read more California stories.)

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