LGBT teaching bill passes California Legislature, governor’s position unknown

BTL Staff
By | 2018-01-16T02:09:08-04:00 July 14th, 2011|News|

The California Legislature passed a bill July 5 that amends the state Education Code to require that schools teach about LGBT people’s contributions to the economic, political and social development of California and the U.S.
The bill also prohibits classroom instruction and school-sponsored activities that promote a discriminatory bias on the basis of sexual orientation, and requires that newly acquired social-sciences textbooks and other social-sciences instructional material used in California adhere to the bill’s requirements.
Sponsored by Sen. Mark Leno, D-San Francisco, the measure cleared the Assembly July 5 in a 49-25 vote. It passed the Senate 23-14 on April 14.
The bill requires “schools to fairly and accurately portray the LGBT civil rights movement and the historic contributions of the diverse LGBT community in social-science instruction,” said Equality California.
“The struggle of the multicultural and multiethnic LGBT community in California is one of the greatest stories yet to be told,” said EQCA Executive Director Roland Palencia. “It is time for history to accurately depict our community’s contributions.”
According to Leno, the bill rights a long-standing wrong.
“We are selectively censoring history when we exclude LGBT Americans or any other group of people from our textbooks and instructional materials,” he said. “We can’t tell our youth that it’s OK to be yourself and expect them to treat their peers with dignity and respect when we deliberately deny them accurate information about the historical contributions of Americans who happened to be LGBT.”
The bill is now on the desk of Gov. Jerry Brown, who has until July 19 to sign, veto or ignore it. If he takes no action, the bill would become law. Brown’s spokesman, Evan Westrup, declined to reveal the governor’s position on the measure.
The bill is online at

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BTL Staff
Between The Lines has been publishing LGBTQ-related content in Southeast Michigan since the early '90s. This year marks the publication's 25th anniversary.