Issue:  Vol. 47 / No. 25 / 22 June 2017
 

BREAKING: Governor signs Leno's FAIR Act

NEWS


s.hemmelgarn@ebar.com

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Governor Jerry Brown signed the Senate Bill 48 - Fair, Accurate, Inclusive, and Respectful Education Act – today (Thursday, July 14), putting an end to days of anxiety for the bill's supporters. Anti-gay activists had been pressuring Brown to veto the bill, and its fate had been unclear as Brown acted on a flurry of other pieces of legislation.

SB 48, authored by out Senator Mark Leno (D-San Francisco) requires schools teach about the historical contributions of LGBT people. It passed the Assembly Tuesday, July 5.

"History should be honest," Brown said in a statement. "This bill revises existing laws that prohibit discrimination in education and ensures that the important contributions of Americans from all backgrounds and walks of life are included in our history books. It represents an important step forward for our state, and I thank Senator Leno for his hard work on this historic legislation."

Leno stated, "Today we are making history in California by ensuring that our textbooks and instructional materials no longer exclude the contributions of LGBT Americans. Denying LGBT people their rightful place in history gives our young people an inaccurate and incomplete view of the world around them. I am pleased Governor Brown signed the FAIR Education Act and I thank him for recognizing that the LGBT community, its accomplishments and its ongoing efforts for first-class citizenship are important components of California’s history.”

The measure amends the state Education Code to require that schools teach about LGBT people's role in – and contributions to – the economic, political, and social development of California and the U.S.

The FAIR Act also prohibits classroom instruction and school-sponsored activities that promote a discriminatory bias on the basis of sexual orientation, and requires that social-sciences textbooks and other social sciences instructional material used in California adhere to the bill's requirements.

Republican lawmakers who objected to the bill claimed it would promote a "homosexual agenda," according to media reports.

The FAIR Act requires "schools to fairly and accurately portray the LGBT civil rights movement and the historic contributions of the diverse LGBT community in social-science instruction," said a statement from Equality California, which sponsored the bill.

The bill is online at http://www.tinyurl.com/SB48-a .






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