The Illinois state House of Representatives voted Wednesday to approve a bill to includes historical figures in the LGBT civil rights movement in K-12 history textbooks and requires schools to include “the role and contributions of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people in the history of this country and this State” in official textbooks.
The educational method is intended to reduce anti-LGBT bullying in schools by teaching students about the historical place of LGBT figures in American society.
“We think all students are better off when we teach them the full breadth of history,” Brian Johnson, the CEO of the LGBT organization Equality Illinois, said of the bill last year. “It makes them more likely to understand that a diverse cast has contributed to our society.”
Anti-LGBT “Christian” groups like Concerned Christian Americans and the Illinois Family Institute, which has been declared an LGBT hate group cited their own “religious objections” and those of some unnamed students families.
“It is well known that the controversies of the transgender and homosexual movements are in direct contradiction to the clear Judeo-Christian beliefs of many in Illinois,” said Illinois Family Institute lobbyist Ralph Rivera, in a memo to legislators. “Schools should teach that we should be respectful of each student and each person. This is what we all agree on. However, schools should not be used to advocate for lifestyles that are against the religious values of the students and parents.”
The measure now heads to Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s (D) desk where he is expected to sign it.