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California Lawmakers Order Gay History Included in Textbooks

Tuesday, 05 Jul 2011 07:09 PM

 


California’s Assembly voted to require that public-school textbooks include the accomplishments of gay Americans, sending the measure to Governor Jerry Brown for his signature.

California would be the first state to mandate the teaching of gay history if Brown, a 73-year-old Democrat, signs the bill into law. The bill directs social-science classes to include the “role and contributions” of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered people.’’ It was approved by the state Senate in April.

Today’s vote has implications for the textbook industry because California is the largest buyer in the U.S., accounting for almost 13 percent of the $3.4 billion market in 2009, according to the Association of American Publishers. Schoolbook publishers typically try to sell California-approved texts to other states.

“We need to portray all people, regardless of their race, their color or their sexual orientation, in a positive way in our textbooks,” Assemblywoman Joan Buchanan, an Alamo Democrat and former teacher, said during floor debate on the bill.

Brown hasn’t said whether he will sign the measure. He has 12 days to sign or veto the bill or it automatically becomes law.

“The bill has not yet been received by the governor,” said Gil Duran, a spokesman for Brown. “We generally do not comment on bills prior to action by the governor.”


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