The Illinois state senate has advanced a bill that would require public schools to teach a unit on LGBT history and important individuals. Only California currently requires schools to include LGBT-specific curriculum.
Elementary and high schools would be required to teach a unit based around “the role and contributions of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people in the history of this country and this State.”
“People learn about Jane Addams, for example, but don’t know she’s a lesbian,” said Brian Johnson, CEO of the LGBT organization Equality Illinois told the Associated Press. “We don’t think there is true justice for the LGBT community unless we can learn about our history.”
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Senator Heather Steans, the measure’s sponsor, said, “People need to see their history to understand that they are a part of our society.”
Similar laws require schools to teach segments about African-Americans, Latinos and Asian-Americans. The senate Education Committee advanced the measure on a 8-2 vote.