California lawmakers face-off on education inclusion of LGBT contributions

California lawmakers face-off on education inclusion of LGBT contributions

A new law currently before the California legislature would require inclusion of LGBT contributions to “the economic, political, and social development of California and the United States of America, with particular emphasis on portraying the role of these groups in contemporary society.”

Sen. Mark Leno, sponsor of SB 48, made this statement: “In light of the ongoing and ever-threatening phenomenon of bullying and the tragic result of suicides, it seems to me that better informed students might be more welcoming in their approach to differences among their classmates. Students would better understand that we are talking about a civil rights movement.”

Each school district would decide which age groups received such instruction.

The change in curriculum was approved five years ago but ran into opposition from Gov. Schwarzenegger. Newly elected Gov. Brown has not made his position on the bill public.

Opponents of the bill are relying on a position of “morality.”

“It is, in fact, legislating morality,” the LA Times quoted Craig DeLuz, a parent and Sacramento school board member, as saying. “It is requiring taxpayers to foot the bill to promote a lifestyle to which they may or may not be morally opposed.”

I imagine that a broader, more inclusive history of California – showing that members of the LGBT community have made important contributions – would be a healthy, positive message to take to young people. Evidence that people from all corners and strata of society provide positive input would further illuminate the point that “it takes a village” to form and move healthy communities forward.