Sacramento, CA –With schools in California trying to figure out how to implement new gay history mandates, some ideas that may be introduced next week are spurring fresh controversy.Critics of the new law, SB 48, are concerned that October, which has been designated as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender History Month, is already being used to distort and politicize history. Attorneys at the Pacific Justice Institute, which led signature-gathering efforts that fell short of getting an SB 48 repeal on the ballot, argue that most of the 31 selections for this year’s list of gay “icons” are inappropriate for K-12 audiences.
This year’s list, which can be found at www.lgbthistorymonth.com, includes a drag queen, the first person believed to have had a sex-change surgery, several political and same-sex marriage activists, and a baseball player with 2 career home runs. One of the better-known individuals on the list is Katharine Lee Bates, who wrote “America the Beautiful.” Bates never claimed to be lesbian, but she is deemed an LGBT icon because she never married and had a close relationship with a female colleague who she lived with for many years.
Last year’s LGBT History Month drew fire for highlighting controversial entertainer Lady Gaga. The event also ignited controversy in New Jersey, where officials called for the firing of a teacher who dared to criticize it on her personal Facebook page.
Brad Dacus, president of Pacific Justice Institute, commented, “What we are already seeing in advance of LGBT History Month underscores why we fought SB 48 and why we continue to fight for sanity in social studies. Young children learning patriotic songs like ‘America the Beautiful’ don’t need to hear about the author’s alleged sexuality. Nor should our kids be learning that drag queens, activists and politicians are important because of their behavior in the bedroom.”
PJI is encouraging parents to talk to their kids’ teachers and principals to find out whether they will be promoting LGBT History Month in October. PJI is also offering to represent teachers who conscientiously object to requirements that they teach revisionist or politicized history.