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State Senate Bill Would Add Contributions Of Gays, Lesbians To School Curriculum

State Senate Bill Would Add Contributions of Gays, Lesbians to School Curriculum
A California senate bill that includes teaching kids about the accomplishments of gays and lesbians is drawing criticism from outside the state.

State law requires that the contributions of both men and women be included in the teaching of California and United States history. The Fair, Accurate, Inclusive and Respectful Education Act would add about a dozen more designations to the list.

Several ethnic groups and people with disabilities are among the groups specified. But it’s the inclusion of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Americans that is drawing the ire of groups like the Preserve Innocence Initiative.

The group argues legislation like this takes away parents’ authority to drive children’s moral education and hands it to special interest groups, according to Emmet McGroarty, the initiative's director.


“It gives them an avenue to go to that centralized government and advocate for a particular ideology or political viewpoint to be driven into the schools," he said.

Local state Senator Christine Kehoe is one of the bill’s coauthors. She argued the legislation’s goal is to promote tolerance and create safe schools for all California students.

“Only 11 percent of students reported being bullied when gay stories were included in their classroom studies," Kehoe said. "But that number doubles to almost 24 percent if the majority of students in school say that they haven’t learned about gay people.”

The bill would also add sexual orientation to the list of characteristics school texts cannot disparage.