In California, a controversial new law, SB48, requires public schools to teach students about the impacts of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered (LGBT) people on American history.
In a statement on his office’s website, California Governor Jerry Brown, a Democrat, said of the law: “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. It represents an important step forward for our state, and I thank Senator (Mark) Leno (D-San Francisco) for his hard work on this historic legislation.”
According to an article on SFGate.com, the website for the San Francisco Chronicle, “Textbooks now must include information on the role of LGBT Americans, as well as Americans with disabilities, though California’s budget crisis has delayed the purchasing of new books until at least 2015.”
“The provision on inclusion in textbooks could reach beyond California, too, as many book publishers tailor their texts to California’s standards because of the state’s large population,” the newspaper reported.
The article said the law was met with heavy opposition, especially from those with “religious objection to homosexuality.”
SB48 “does absolutely nothing to reduce bullying, improve the poor state of our education system, ensure students graduate or prepare them for global competitiveness,” Paulo Sibaja, legislative director of the Capitol Resource Institute, a socially conservative organization in Sacramento, told the newspaper. “Instead it diverts precious classroom time away from science, math, reading and writing, and focuses on the agenda of a small group of people.”