This week legislation was introduced in Tennessee to forbid the mere discussion of homosexuality in schools, but today California took steps to require it. The Fair, Accurate, Inclusive, and Respectful Education Act, which mandates teaching social studies lessons on the contributions of gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgender people, passed in the California Senate, 23-14. Sen. Mark Leno of San Francisco said he introduced the legislation partly to combat bullying. "Most textbooks don't include any information about LGBT historical figures or the LGBT civil rights movement, which has great significance to both California and U.S. history," he said. California would be the first state to require the teaching of LGBT history.
Ugh. First off, I'm gay. Secondly, this is ridiculous. Why does it have to be LGBT history? Why can't it just be histrory??? When does anyone's sexual orientation come up in a history class, and what relevance does have on a child's education? We don't say "Straight George Washington crossed the Delaware" or "Possibly bisexual Abraham Lincoln abolished slavery". I think this actually does more to tarnish gay rights than it does to support it, because once again, you're segregating LGBT history makers from "mainstream" history.
If you're going to talk about the LGBT civil rights movement as part of a modern history course, fine. But does anyone else feel like they're being singled out? Maybe we should have an LGBT history month, just like we have black history month. But wait, isn't black history just HISTORY??? Why do we have to segregate everything, as opposed to just teaching history in a meaningful and cohesive way?