After a lengthy
partisan debate, the California assembly voted 47-31
to ban materials and activities in schools that are
discriminatory toward gays, lesbians, bisexuals, and
transgender individuals. Assembly speaker Fabian Nunez
of Los Angeles said the bill, sponsored by
Democratic senator Sheila Kuehl of Santa Monica, was
needed to expand the antidiscriminatory protections
now afforded minorities based on race, gender, and religion.
"Antigay and LGBT school harassment occurs every
day in our public schools," Nunez said on the floor.
"This says our schools are going to have a curriculum
that is bias-free."
Lawmakers two weeks ago voted to strip out the
most controversial element of the bill, a provision
that would have required California textbooks to
include the historical contributions of gay people.
Nevertheless, critics said the measure still allowed
for the promotion of homosexuality.
"This is a predatory bill," said Republican
assemblyman Jay LaSuer. "It preys on the innocence of
children on a lifestyle that is unacceptable."
The bill now goes to the California senate. (AP)