While the fight to legalize gay marriage is stalled in the courts, state lawmakers who support gay rights are advancing their efforts in a different arena: the classroom.
A bill passed by the state Assembly on Tuesday would require California to incorporate the contributions of gays, lesbians and transgendered Americans in its textbooks and history class curriculum.
The legislation, AB 48, currently awaits the approval of Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown.
San Francisco State Senator Mark Leno (D), who is openly gay, authored the FAIR Education Act back in December.
"It will require that roles and contributions of LGBT Americans, not unlike African-Americans, Mexican Americans, women, and other traditionally overlooked groups, be included in school curriculum,” Leno told Fox News.
Although the legislation does not specify any specific blanket requirements for curriculum, there is speculation that the history of civil rights activists like Harvey Milk, one of California’s first openly gay politicians, would be included in classroom material.
Schools are required by law to incorporate curriculum highlighting women, African-Americans, Asian-Americans, American Indians, Mexican-Americans, and European-Americans.
The study of entrepreneurs and labor unions is also required.
Gov. Brown has not publicized his position on AB48.
If approved, California would become the first state to require curriculum reflecting the history and contributions of gays in America.
A similar bill was vetoed by former California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger in 2006.