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California Officially Becomes First State To Require Gay History To Be Taught In School

By Meredith Carroll |

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Gay history is making history in California

It’s official: gay history will be added to social studies classes in California.

Gov. Jerry Brown signed the landmark bill on Thursday, making California the first state in the country to require public schools to teach about prominent gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender figures. The legislature passed the bill last week, mostly on a party-line vote.

Not surprisingly, some parents, church and conservative groups were opposed to the bill, arguing it would promote a homosexual agenda and lead kids to start thinking about sexuality and gender identity at too young an age. Supporters assert that by teaching gay history, students will be exposed to positive gay role models, which could help reduce bullying of gay students.

The state plans to create guidelines for school districts, but educators will decide which historic figures should be included in the curriculum.

Do you support the new law, or do you think it will force kids to think about sexuality before it’s appropriate?

Image: Wikipedia

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About Meredith Carroll


Meredith Carroll

Meredith C. Carroll is an award-winning columnist and writer based in Aspen, Colorado. She can be found regularly on the Op-Ed page of The Denver Post. From 2005-2012 her other column, "Meredith Pro Tem" ran in several newspapers, as well as occasionally on The Huffington Post since 2009. Read more about her (or don’t, whatever) at her website. Read bio and latest posts → Read Meredith's latest posts →

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8 thoughts on “California Officially Becomes First State To Require Gay History To Be Taught In School

  1. Mistress_Scorpio says:

    I agree with the spirit behind the law as long as it’s execution is to teach the importance of these figures not as a part of “gay history” but American history.

  2. Deutschbag says:

    all history is gay history, because history is, like, totally gay, dude

  3. Manjari says:

    Good for CA!

  4. Lisa says:

    Sorry but since most students barely make it to WWII, I just don’t think there is time to add this.

  5. Keir says:

    What has happened to the American education system? As a teacher, I’m against the idea of discrimination but being forced to teach an agenda is puzzling to say the least- the logistics alone, with little enough time provided to teach the basic modern history course, would argue against adding more layers in place of factual information as Lisa pointed out. I teach 20th century history- do I need to spend time in the course talking about homosexuals in the Third Reich (like most of the SA, or are only ‘good’ homosexuals to be given a voice), or homosexuals who specifically made a difference in the League of Nations, or how those who wanted to have sex with their own sex helped convince the US to finally leave Vietnam? I mean, what is it about homosexuality as opposed to any other facet of history that demands students be taught about it? Will Chinese be thrown in?
    Meanwhile Illinois has stopped writing from being examined at high school level (I’m an examiner and can tell when a paper has been written by an American candidate generally when ESL students write much more fluently and knowledgeably) whilst another American Governor, here in the 21st century, is appealing for people to PRAY to a supernatural deity (of their choice, I assume) to ask if he would kindly stop a heat wave from occurring. This is a state that teaches fairytales instead of real science at high school level, I take it. Meanwhile this idiotic state’s Agriculture Secretary actually admitted that he is “glad the governor is issuing this call to prayer, and I hope it helps deliver the rain we need soon.” God knows no-one in that state has any brains to do something actually constructive. 300 millions of Americans and that’s what they have to pull them out of their decline. What would Gibbon make of it?

  6. Maggie says:

    The law or regulation we need is probably more general — to teach ‘history’ as if it actually included all the people of a given time and place. Not just the wars, not just the governments. But also, not just the dominant racial / gender / social group or class. It’s long past time for the US to be teaching a history that includes non-males, non-Christians, non-caucasians, non-heteros at rates greater than tokenism. Not to mention the folks who teach that “the people of those days” had servants (like the servants weren’t people?).

  7. lam says:

    All curricula represent an agenda. I think Maggie has it right, but some civil rights coverage on this would be nice, too.

  8. Shandeigh says:

    I honestly don’t understand how someone’s sexual orientation and/or race has anything to do with their historical importance. Teaching kids about historical figures based strictly on who they are sharing the sheets with is moronic. I don’t have a problem with maybe in late high school teaching them about the history of “gay rights” along with other civil rights… but to specifically go out and find and teach about a figure based just because they are gay is just as discrimitory as not teaching about them because they are gay.

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