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Recently, the California Department of Education released their list of recommended reading for students in grades K-12. The list, which contains over 7,800 publications, includes 32 books that are categorized as “LGBT-themed.” Though some applaud the potential for gay literature in the classroom, claiming that it will expose children to the lives of LGBT individuals, others are voicing their dissent. Among these people is Randy Thomasson, the executive director of SaveCalifornia.com, who provided the following statement to Los Angeles’ ABC 7:
“Your children are not being taught rigorous academics or critical thinking. They’re being taught social engineering that will hurt them physically and emotionally.”
These anti-gay statements have come at a crucial time for California and the rest of America—during the same week the U.S. Supreme Court spent several days considering the arguments for and against Proposition 8, which bans same-sex marriage in California, and the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which defines marriage as being between a man and a woman. The written an oral arguments for Proposition 8 and DOMA can be found on the Supreme Court’s website.
Though the Supreme Court has not yet released any explicit statements regarding whether or not changes will be made to either of these laws in favor of same-sex marriage, the week of March 25 is being called a historic week for LGBT people for many reasons. A closer look at a timeline of the gay rights movement over the past 50 years sheds further light on the significance of this week’s hearings: in 1970, Jack Baker and Michael McConnell of Minnesota were the first gay couple who tried to get married. Their attempt was denied by Minnesota’s highest court, and an appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court was also declined. Now, over forty years later, the Supreme Court has finally agreed to listen.
Meanwhile, people have been declaring their support for marriage equality all over the Internet. The day before the court hearings, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) encouraged social media users to change their avatars and profile pictures to an image of a pink equal sign over a red background in honor of LGBT rights. Within the first 24-hours that the HRC posted the image to their Facebook page, it received over 25,000 likes and 78,000 shares.
And to top it all off in the publishing industry, the April 8 edition of TIME Magazine will feature two separate covers, one of two men kissing and one of two women kissing, with a caption that reads “Gay Marriage Already Won.”