Gay Americans would be included in California textbooks under a proposed bill requiring schools to buy books that “accurately” portray “the sexual diversity of our society,” the San Jose Mercury News reports.
More controversially, it could require that 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.”
California buys more textbooks than any other state, so what California wants all states tend to get.
State education code already requires inclusion “of the historical role and contributions of members of ethnic and cultural groups,” notes the Merc. There are lots of mentions of women and minorities to balance out those white male founding fathers, presidents and generals.
(Karen) England (director of the Capitol Resource Institute) says she doesn’t really care, because a person’s contribution to history doesn’t hinge on sexual orientation.
“I don’t care if, or who, whatever historical figure they want to say is gay,” England said. “If we’re discussing history, who someone had sex with is inappropriate. I don’t think most Californians want history and social sciences taught through the lens of who in history slept with whom.”
I hadn’t known that the author of “America the Beautiful,” Katharine Lee Bates, was gay. There’s a classic twofer mention: female and gay. And irrelevant.
Darren has a long post on this, arguing again that young people should be encouraged to take pride in their accomplishments, not in their membership in a group in which other people have accomplished something in the past.