Gov. Jerry Brown signed legislation Thursday making California the first state to require that school textbooks and history lessons include the contributions of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender Americans…
In accepting a mandate that California students be taught the accomplishments of gays and lesbians, Brown said that “history should be honest.” The bill, he said in a statement, “revises existing laws that prohibit discrimination in education and ensures that the important contributions of Americans from all backgrounds and walks of life are included in our history books.”
The measure had sparked hot debate in the Legislature, where Republicans argued that it would force a “gay agenda” on young people against many of their parents’ wishes. State Sen. Mark Leno (D-San Francisco) said the new law, which he wrote, will reduce the bullying of gay students by showing role models in lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender citizens.
“Denying LGBT people their rightful place in history gives our young people an inaccurate and incomplete view of the world around them,” said Leno, whose bill, SB 48, also covers the role of the disabled in history.
The governor’s action drew criticism from [right-wing] groups.