SACRAMENTO (KCBS)— A bill that would require California’s public schools to include the history of gay rights in their curricula won final legislative approval on Tuesday. The bill, which met fierce opposition from Republicans, is now on its way to Governor Jerry Brown’s desk.

The law would make California schools the first in the nation to mandate the teaching of gay rights history, putting politicians like Harvey Milk alongside Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., as well as the civil rights struggles of Latinos and women.

KCBS’ Doug Sovern Reports:

The State Assembly approved the measure, on a mostly party line vote, with San Diego’s Nathan Fletcher the only Republican to join Democrats in voting yes. State Senator Mark Leno of San Francisco wrote the bill, which requires public schools to teach students about the contributions of LGBT Californians.

“This inclusive education rather than censoring their education, leaving out a page of our very proud California history, can only benefit them,” said Leno.

Conservative Republicans, voting no, said the state shouldn’t force schools to embrace the “homosexual agenda”, but Leno said this won’t just be good for gay kids.

“Also for the straight students who will come to understand that the strange kid sitting a few desks away who seems to be different in some way, is actually part of a proud community,” Leno added.

Governor Brown hasn’t said whether he’ll sign the landmark legislation.

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

Comments (10)
  1. Aren’t there more vital things for students to learn? Say, critical thinking skills and basic algebra.
    ‘Cause, shucks, you know, American students barely have an understanding of math, science or even the english language anymore. [Insert ironic acronym here]

  2. Gsry says:

    Another waste of time for the school system and the students.
    I hope the govenor vetos this bill.
    Math and science are subjects that I want my tax dollars paying towards.

  3. firedup says:

    Economy is going to H@$l in a handbasket, state of the schools is dismal at best, and lawmakers have a priority of putting ‘Gay” rights first. California needs a wake up call in a big way. Glad my kids will never be a part of public education!

  4. fed up! cali get a clue we voted says:

    The teachers barley get through the lessons they are required to do now, my child is required ti test on something the teachers have not gotten to my mid terms, how dere the state now mandate some stupid shxt as this gay rights,

  5. MP says:

    Our schools rank #30 in the nation per a servey done by Editorial Projects in Education Research Center earlier this year. I cant believe we are going to be spending our tax dollars to teach this to our children. Our students are not allowed to recite the pledge of allegiance for fear of offending someone, but will now be forced to learn about “gay history”. I think this type of double standard has to stop!

    1. karen castanon says:

      this is correct. i myself am going to be entering my first year of high school (in the 2011-2012 school year). I cant believe that they are going to be wasting our time on this.

      I myself am not gay. I have nothing against it as well but if we cant learn religion or even in some school that reciting the pledge of allegiance is a problem, they think that it will be okay to learn about gay history in class will be

  6. Fernando Morales says:

    This is great. Let the young learn as much as they can so they can make their own decisions and build their own future.

  7. Monster says:

    Physical ed – cut due to lack of money, must feed teachers unions first.
    Arts and Music ed – cut due to lack of money – unions again.
    Textbooks – none – see above.
    History – public school grads don’t know what Independence Day stands for or who George Washington was……
    Math and Science – there is a good reason why our companies are full of people from India, China, Japan, you name it. Our kids can’t do basic math, forget about calculus or biochemistry. Just let them watch MTV.

    [sarcasm] It is comforting to know that today’s kids will be well aware of America’s “gay” history while they wait in line to sign up for welfare.

    This state is done, but the legislators still don’t get it.