Conservatives Fight to Repeal GLBT History Law

Friday, November 18th, 2011

Not only do anti-gay groups want to eliminate equal rights for GLBT couples all over California; they want to erase them from history.

28485_mediumFor the second time since Governor Jerry Brown signed the FAIR (Fair, Accurate, Inclusive, Respectful) Education Act (SB 48) into law this past July, conservative groups have made an attempt to bypass the bill - which would mandate that the historical contributions of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people be included in school lesson plans across the state of California. The bill revises existing laws that prohibit discrimination in education against women and other racial and ethnic groups, simply adding the GLBT community to that list. You can read up on our coverage of GENER8TION NOH8 here.

Republican activist and California chairman of the Christian Coalition Richard Rios has championed two new proposals designed to bypass the new law, which is not expected to go into effect until the 2013-2014 school year. One proposal removes the inclusion of LGBT people from the FAIR Education Act completely, but leaves behind the mandate to include historical contributions from people with disabilities. The second proposal allows parents to opt their child out of any curriculum that conflicts "with the religious training and beliefs of a parent or guardian." Both options are geared toward distancing children from the idea that GLBT people exist in the world, they are equal, and they are capable of significant history. Rios spoke on behalf of the Committee to Repeal SB48 and the Committee for Parental Rights for Education (OnTop Magazine).

While the hateful measures are not expected to pass, attempting to block the inclusion of GLBT history in schools very clearly promotes the idea that there is something inherently wrong or unequal about gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people and reinforces the idea that it's okay to discriminate against them simply because of their sexual orientation. This dangeous side effect has the potential to send the wrong message to confused and questioning youth who might just be starting to figure out who they are, and strips those same youth of the opportunity to learn about positive LGBT role models who have played an important role in our country's past.



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