Calif. Senate passes 'gay history' textbook bill, sends to assembly; governor silent
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (BP)--A landmark bill that would require public school textbooks in California to include "gay history" passed the California Senate May 11 by a mostly party-line vote of 22-15, and now heads to the Assembly.
The bill, S.B. 1437, would mandate that textbooks include "the contributions of people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender to the total development of California and the United States." It would also prevent teachers from speaking "adversely" about homosexuality.
California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, a Republican, has not taken a public position on the bill.
Conservatives nationwide are watching the debate closely, since California is the nation's largest textbook purchaser, and conservatives fear the bill's passage eventually could impact the rest of the country.
All of the Senate's 14 Republicans voted against the bill. Twenty-two of the Senate's 25 Democrats voted for the bill, one voted against it and two did not vote. Democrats also have a majority in the Assembly.
Randy Thomasson, president of California-based Campaign for Children and Families, said it was ironic that that the bill passed days before Mothers Day -- a holiday traditionally focused on the natural, traditional family.
"By passing S.B. 1437, Democrat politicians have declared war on mothers and fathers and their children," Thomasson said in a statement. "This terrible bill forces local schools to go against parents by mandating transsexual, bisexual, and homosexual ‘education’ upon their impressionable children. Whose children are they, anyway? This mental molestation of kids as young as kindergarten is very wrong. Children deserve academics, not sexual indoctrination."
The bill was sponsored by Democratic state Sen. Sheila Kuehl, a lesbian.
"All we're saying is let us also be reflected in history," Kuehl said, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.
Bill supporters said homosexuals should be reflected in history just as blacks and other minorities are. But state Sen. Bill Morrow, Republican, disagreed.
"If you are a black American, you can't help it, you were born that way," Morrow said, according to the San Jose Mercury-News. "There is not one scintilla of credible scientific evidence that suggests that homosexuality is biological in origin ... It is behavioral; it is not racial."
For more information about the national debate over "gay marriage," visit http://www.bpnews.net/samesexmarriage