California Assembly passes gay education bill

PinkNews logo on a pink background surrounded by illustrated line drawings of a rainbow, pride flag, unicorn and more.

A bill requiring schools in California to teach pupils about LGBT history has been passed by the Assembly.

It has already been approved by the Senate and now goes to state governor Jerry Brown, who has not said whether he will sign it.

The bill, known as the FAIR (Fair, Accurate, Inclusive and Respectful) Education Act, would require schools to ensure that lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans people are recognised in text books and ban “discriminatory” materials.

California law already requires schools to highlight the contributions of women, African-Americans, Mexican Americans and entrepreneurs, among others.

Backing the legislation, Assembly Speaker John Perez, who is gay, said: ‘This bill will require California schools to present a more accurate and nuanced view of American history in our social science curriculum by recognising the accomplishments of groups that are not often recognised.’

However, some lawmakers have claimed the bill will “promote” homosexuality to children.

Republican Assemblymember Tim Donnelly said:”I think it’s one thing to say that we should be tolerant. It is something else altogether to say that my children are going to be taught that this lifestyle is good.”

The bill has gone to Mr Brown, who has not indicated whether he will sign it. If he does, the legislation will come into force for the 2013-14 school year.