The California Assembly passed a landmark bill requiring public schools to include the contributions of LGBT Americans in its social sciences curricula and textbooks.
With the support of a wide majority of Assembly members—49 in favor versus 25 opposed—the Fair, Accurate, Inclusive and Respectful (FAIR) Education Act (SB 48) was sent to Gov. Jerry Brown, a Democrat. The governor has 12 days to sign the bill into law or veto it. According to the Los Angeles Times, Brown has not announced his position on the bill.
Assemblyman Tom Ammiano, an openly gay Democrat representing San Francisco, passionately argued for the passage of SB 48. “I don’t want to be invisible in a textbook,” he said, as quoted by the Times. At least one Republican member, Tim Donnelly of San Bernadino, argued that SB 48 would encourage the “homosexual agenda” and said, “As a Christian, I am deeply offended.”
Existing law requires school instruction to include contributions of men and women in history. SB48 would add a requirement for instructions in social sciences “to include a study of the role and contributions of Native Americans, African Americans, Mexican Americans, Asian Americans, Pacific Islanders, European Americans, lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Americans, persons with disabilities and other ethnic and cultural groups, to the development of California and the United States.” The bill also prohibits schools from adopting textbooks or courses that include discriminatory content or propaganda.
In April, the California Senate approved the bill with a 23-10 vote.