Looks like this is going to be a good summer for gay rights! Fast on the heels of the legalization of gay marriage in New York, California lawmakers are looking to pass a bill that will require California public schools to teach about the accomplishments of gay men and women. My first reaction to this news? About damn time!
My second reaction: Wait, you mean they haven't been doing that already? I don't know why I never considered the issue before, but does this mean that schools generally exclude the contributions of gays from history and social studies classes? Since this bill is being called the first of its kind in the nation, I guess so. Well. That's just plain scary.
Basically, what that means is that every public school in America is teaching kids to be hypocrites. Each school, no matter how red or blue its state of origin, is supposed to promote tolerance and equality and all of the other basic rules one needs to follow to be a productive member of society. Yet all this time they've been hiding the knowledge of major, world-changing achievements of gays and lesbians on the grounds that an entire segment of the population is too deviant to be considered useful.
When you look at it that way, it's no wonder gay teens get bullied. Maybe kids aren't being encouraged outright to treat their gay peers differently, but schools are committing a sin of omission by passing on the message that gay men and lesbians are different, too different, even, to be included in standard-issue textbooks.
Here's hoping the rest of the country follows California's lead!
What do you think about the bill requiring public schools to teach about gay history?
Image via Guillaume Paumier/Flickr