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US State Passes Law to Teach LGBTQ History Curriculum in Schools

The bill made it through the House by a vote of 60-42 and 37-17 in the US Senate.

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Updated:August 14, 2019, 6:07 PM IST
US State Passes Law to Teach LGBTQ History Curriculum in Schools
(Image: AP)

Public school students in Illinois, United States, will be taught about the “roles and contributions” LGBTQ community under a new law approved on Friday.

Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed into law House Bill 246 which was introduced by Representative Anna Moeller for “more inclusive history curriculum” CNN Wire reported.

“In public schools only, the teaching of history shall include a study of the roles and contributions of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people in the history of this country and this State,” the bill states.

Equality Illinois, the state’s largest LGBTQ civil rights advocacy organization, hoped the new curriculum will have a “positive effect on students’ self-image and make their peers more accepting.”

The new curriculum will include topics on America’s first gay rights organization, the Society for Human Rights and Sally Ride, the first US woman in space, who was a lesbian.

“One of the best ways to overcome intolerance is through education and exposure to different people and viewpoints,” State Senator Heather Steans, who also sponsored the bill, said in a statement earlier this year.

"An inclusive curriculum will not only teach an accurate version of history but also promote acceptance of the LGBTQ community." The bill passed the Senate and House earlier this year and the curriculum is set to make its debut in July 2020.

The bill also states that all textbooks “authorized to be purchased must include the roles and contributions of all people protected under the Illinois Human Rights Act and must be non-discriminatory as to any of the characteristics under the Act.”

“It is my hope that teaching students about the valuable contributions LGBTQ individuals have made throughout history will create a safer environment with fewer incidents of harassment,” Steans said. “LGBTQ children and teenagers will also be able to gain new role models who share life experiences with them.”

The bill made it through the House by a vote of 60-42 and 37-17 in the Senate, New York Post reported.

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