A bill that would introduce the contributions of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered individuals in school curriculum has moved a step closer to becoming state law.
The Fair, Accurate, Inclusive and Respectful (FAIR) Education Act, or Senate Bill 48, passed the Assembly Education Committee in a 7-4 vote Wednesday.
Authored by Senator Mark Leno (D-San Francisco) and sponsored by Equality California and the Gay-Straight Alliance Network, the bill would add sexual orientation and gender identity to the existing list of under-represented minority groups already included in the state’s inclusionary education requirements.
Now headed to the Assembly floor, the bill would allow the contributions of LGBT figures to be included in the public school curriculum of “age-appropriate” social science courses.
According to bill supporters, the bill fosters a safe environment for LGBT students through positive education of LGBT figures.
, a Glendora High School graduate, has joined the Gay-Straight Alliance in advocating for the FAIR ACT.
”In a lot of communities, if [gay individuals] are not completely ridiculed, they’re completely ignored,” said Baiseri. “In both cases, it’s extremely hurtful to communities as a whole. We need to foster an environment that shows that LGBT individuals are just as valid as everyone else in society.”
However, the bill faces opposition from those who believe it asserts sexuality in an inappropriate forum.
“I would suggest this is not the place to do it, to sexualize the training of our children at an early age when the psychiatrist was explaining that they’re in a development state that is critical when they are trying to figure out their identity,” said Senator Bob Huff during a Senate Education Committee meeting in March.