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California Lawmakers Divided Over LGBT Instruction

California Lawmakers Divided Over LGBT Instruction


A new bill aims to rectify an educational oversight in California -- with a history of the contributions of LGBT Americans.

Proposed by Sen. Mark D. Leno of San Francisco, SB 48 would require that new social science textbooks and other instructional materials include "a study of the role and contributions of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Americans ... to the economic, political, and social development of California and the United States of America, with particular emphasis on portraying the role of these groups in contemporary society."

According to the Los Angeles Times, Leno hopes a revised school curriculum will lead to less harassment of gay youth. "In light of the ongoing and ever-threatening phenomenon of bullying and the tragic result of suicides," he said in an interview, "it seems to me that better informed students might be more welcoming in their approach to differences among their classmates. Students would better understand that we are talking about a civil rights movement."

While Gov. Jerry Brown has not taken a stance on the measure, lawmakers and activists are hopeful that a Democratic governor might be more supportive of the movement, which was approved five years ago by legislators only to be stymied by then-governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Opponents are expressing their concerns about the effects of the bill. "It is, in fact, legislating morality," the Times quoted Craig DeLuz, a parent and Sacramento school board member, as saying. "It is requiring taxpayers to foot the bill to promote a lifestyle to which they may or may not be morally opposed."

Read the full article here.

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