California teachers could soon be required to include the history of gays, lesbians and transgenders in their curriculum, after a landmark vote was passed Thursday in the state senate.
The bill was sponsored by Sen. Mark Leno (D-San Francisco) and passed on a party-line vote. It will now go to the State Assembly, and, if passed, it would then need to be signed into law by Gov. Jerry brown.
The bill, which aims to include gays and transgender in lessons given to students on social and ethnic groups, would also add disabled people to the curriculum.
According to an article in the New York Times, Leno, who is gay, was quoted as saying: “We are second-class citizens and children are listening. When they see their teachers don’t step up to the plate when their classmate is being harassed literally to death, they are listening and they get the message that there is something wrong with those people.”
Republicans are steadfastly opposed to the bill, and Sen. Doug La Malfa, of Butte, told the Times it would force children to confront sexuality at an earlier age.