*A new Bill that will incorporate LGBT courses into the public school curriculum is pending in the state of Illinois. If the Bill passes, public schools will add a gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender section to history courses, according to the Chicago Tribune.
In addition, schools will be required to use textbooks that portray the LGBT community as being part of a diverse society.
According to the report, those opposing the Bill are doing so only because they believe such decisions should be made at a local, not state, level. And its no surprise that gay and transgender rights advocates are hoping the measure will pass.
The state has similar requirements for teaching the history of blacks and other groups. And it would provide a platform for stories about members of the LGBT community that often go untold.
“There is no justice for LGBTQ people when we are erased from the study of history,” Brian Johnson, CEO of Equality Illinois, a gay and transgender rights advocacy organization, told the Chicago Tribune.
But opponents say the difference here is that this Bill goes against the religious beliefs of other students.
Hmm..this argument .doesn’t sound very strong to me. How will people learn and grow if everything they hear is about what they already believe?
But let’s continue, shall we?
Ralph Rivera, a lobbyist with the conservative Illinois Family Institute argues..
“Where’s the protection for students and parents who have a religious belief?” He tells the Chicago Tribune this has “…always been the case, this is not a new, avant-garde thing that they find this behavior to be against their religious beliefs and their churches’ or synagogues’ beliefs. No one seems to be mindful of that. They don’t care,” he adds.
But Johnson feels that LGBT students should be treated to a broader spectrum of education, and they shouldn’t be “deprived of the role models we deserve.” He added that all children should have a “full understanding” of some of the historic figures they learn about in school.
“You know, the fact that you would learn about Martin Luther King Jr. and learn about Coretta (Scott King), but not learn about Bayard Rustin and his partners, it’s just a sign that we’re giving kids a lopsided view of history,” Johnson explained.
Rustin, a civil rights leader, was a chief of the 1963 March on Washington, where Martin Luther King, Jr., gave his “I Have a Dream” speech.
The House and Senate committees gave their preliminary approval according to the report. It is expected to be debated more in the coming weeks.
Your thoughts? Should LGBT courses be taught in public schools? Is it necessary to know about someone in history based on their sexual preference alone, or only of it relates to something broader? What if the person is deceased, and never came out, should they be “outed” now just to prove a point?