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SB 48, which would make the teaching of LGBT accomplishments compulsory in public schools across California, has passed both the California state Senate and Assembly. Currently, it is awaiting review by Governor Jerry Brown, who has the power to sign the bill into law or veto it.
Assemblyman Tom Ammiano, an openly gay supporter of the bill, told his colleagues that, “I don’t want to be invisible in a textbook.”
[Updated] California Governor Jerry Brown signed SB 48 into law on Thursday, July 14th. The law mandates that “the contributions and history of gays and lesbians in the United States” must be included in the state’s social studies coursework and textbooks. California is the first state to require LGBT studies be included in public school curriculum.
“History should be honest,” Brown said. “This bill prohibits discrimination in education and ensures that the contributions of Americans from all backgrounds and walks of life are included in our history books.”
Shay Mitchell, Actress and LGBT Ally: The Washington Blade recently profiled Shay Mitchell, the 24-year-old actress who plays lesbian teen Emily Fields on Pretty Little Liars. The show is based on a series of novels by Sara Shepard.
“A lot of the girls who have written to me … have said, ‘I was very scared to come out to my group of friends, but watching your show all together made it a lot easier for me to come out,’” Mitchell said. “I was like, ‘That is amazing.’” [WashingtonBlade]
Lack of Books on Gay Parenting in New Zealand Shocks Researcher: According to school of educational psychology and pedagogy senior lecturer Ann Hardie, gay and lesbian parents seem to be absent from most school libraries in New Zealand’s capital. Hardie’s research showed that more than 85 percent of the school libraries surveyed did not have materials depicting families headed by gay parents.
However, Jane Fairless, an educator at Northland School, claims that the exclusion of children’s books that include LGBT parents is not intentional.
“It wasn’t that we were avoiding those books, it was something that hadn’t arisen,” Fairless said. [Stuff]
NLGJA Announces Recipients of Excellence in Journalism Award: Journalists who have been responsible for shedding light on issues facing the gay community will be rewarded for their efforts at the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association’s (NLGJA) National Convention & LGBT Media Summit in Philadelphia in late August. The NLGJA has already released a list of recipients of its Excellence in Journalism Awards, which can be found in its entirety here.