California schools to include gay historical figures

In 2009 California established Harvey Milk Day
to recognize the efforts of the slain gay rights activist.
© AFP/Getty Images/File Justin Sullivan

AFP

LOS ANGELES (AFP) – The gay, lesbian and transgender community’s contributions to US history will be integrated into future California public school curriculum, in line with a law signed Thursday by Democratic Governor Jerry Brown.

California is the first American state to legislate the issue, after a similar measure was approved in May 2006 but the governor at the time, Arnold Schwarzenegger, vetoed it.

“History should be honest. This bill 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,” Governor Brown said in an official statement.

The FAIR Education Act prohibits discriminatory instruction and discriminatory materials from being adopted by the State Board of Education.

It requires “instruction in social sciences to include a study of the role and contributions of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Americans, persons with disabilities, and members of other cultural groups, to the development of California and the United States.”

State senator Mark Leno, an openly gay legislator who championed the measure through the state assembly, thanked Brown and said California was making history by passing the education law.

“Denying LGBT people their rightful place in history gives our young people an inaccurate and incomplete view of the world around them,” he said.

© AFP — Published at Activist Post with license

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