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California senate
passes measure to include LGBT history in school
curriculum

California senate
passes measure to include LGBT history in school
curriculum

Cal_supreme_ct

The California senate passed a bill Thursday that would make the historical contributions of LGBT Americans part of the public-school curriculum in the state.

The California senate passed a bill Thursday that would make the historical contributions of LGBT Americans part of the public-school curriculum in the state. The measure, believed to be the first of its kind in the country, still needs to be passed by the state assembly and signed by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and would not take effect until 2012, the Los Angeles Times reports. "Even though we passed an antiharassment bill seven years ago, it's still pretty obvious that there's a hostile environment for kids who are gay or lesbian--or even thought to be gay or lesbian," Democratic senator Sheila Kuehl, the bill's author and one of the legislature's six openly gay members, told the Times. "Part of that stems from the fact that nobody reads about any positive examples." The bill would require state textbooks to incorporate LGBT history, from acknowledging the sexuality of cultural figures like Harlem Renaissance writer Langston Hughes to discussing the gay rights movement, which would then be used in social studies courses in an "age-appropriate" way to examine the "role and contributions" that LGBT people have made to the "economic, political, and social development" of California and the United States. If the measure becomes law, the state board of education will be responsible for implementing it and setting educational guidelines. "If you're teaching social movements in schools and you talk about the United Farm Workers and Cesar Chavez and you talk about the civil rights movement and Martin Luther King and you talk about the women's suffrage movement, to leave out the gay rights movement seems glaring," Geoffrey Kors, executive director of Equality California, told the Times. All but three Democrats voted for the bill, while all 14 Republican senators voted against it. (The Advocate)

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