A bill requiring students to learn about the contributions homosexuals have made to society and that could remove gender-specific terms including “mom” and “dad” from textbooks is making progress in California.
The state’s Senate Judiciary Committee has approved SB 1437, which would mandate grades 1-12 buy books “accurately” portraying “the sexual diversity of our society.” It also requires students hear history lessons on “the contributions of people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender to the economic, political, and social development of California and the United States of America.”
It also precludes textbooks, teaching materials, instruction, and “school-sponsored activities” from reflecting adversely upon persons based on their sexual orientation, or actual or perceived gender.
“School-sponsored activities include everything from cheerleading and sports activities to the prom,” said Karen England of Capitol Resource Institute, a traditional-values organization. “Under SB 1437 school districts would likely be prohibited from having a ‘prom king and queen’ because that would show bias based on gender and sexual orientation.
“Under SB 1437 school districts would also likely have to do away with dress codes and would have to accommodate transsexuals on girl-specific or boy-specific sports teams.”
England says the measure amounts to unneeded social experimentation.
“SB 1437 disregards the religious and moral convictions of parents and students and will result in reverse discrimination,” she said.
Sponsored by Democratic Sen. Sheila Kuehl – a lesbian actress best known for playing Zelda in “The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis” in the ’60s – the legislation would add “gender” (actual or perceived) and “sexual orientation” to the law that prohibits California public schools from having textbooks, teaching materials, instruction or “school-sponsored activities” that reflect adversely upon people based on characteristics like race, creed and handicap.
Sen. Sheila Kuehl
“We’ve been working since 1995 to try to improve the climate in schools for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender kids, as well as those kids who are just thought to be gay, because there is an enormous amount of harassment and discrimination at stake,” Kuehl told the San Jose Mercury News. “Teaching materials mostly contain negative or adverse views of us, and that’s when they mention us at all.”
“In textbooks, it’s as if there’s no gay people in California at all, so forget about it,” she added.
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