The Fight Over Sexual Orientation and Textbooks

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Conservative activists will be howling over Gov. Jerry Brown's signature Thursday on a controversial measure that requires school textbooks to include material on the historic role of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Californians.

For details on the legislation click here.

SB48 by Sen. Mark Leno, D-San Francisco, directs school boards to use instructional materials and textbooks that don't portray sexual orientation in an adverse way. Leno argues that excluding discussion of LGBT citizens in social science instruction encourages bullying and "sustains an environment of discrimination and bias in schools throughout California."

Conservative groups are angry with the idea of changing textbooks and see this as another front in the cultural wars. The Campaign for Children and Families calls this "radical, in-your-face sexual indoctrination that parents certainly don't want and children certainly don't need."

Former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger vetoed a similar bill by Sen. Sheila Kuehl, D-Santa Monica in 2006, saying that protection against sexual orientation discrimination already existed in state law.

Brown offered no comment Thursday in announcing his decision to sign the bill.

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