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Illinois Passes Law Requiring LGBTQ History be Taught in Schools

September 20th, 2019

In a landmark decision that will likely help to promote the advancement of civil rights, Illinois state now requires LGBTQ history be taught in schools.

In a landmark decision that will likely help to promote the advancement of civil rights, Illinois now requires that LGBTQ history be taught in schools.

For anyone interested in following the advancement of LGBTQ rights in this country, the decision is worth following.

The Details of the Law

The recently signed into law, House Bill 346, requires all schools in the state to include details about the contributions to society made by LGBTQ individuals in the United States as well as the state of Illinois in school textbooks.

As a result of the regulation, the state’s Board of Education is also required to annually publish a list of textbooks that it authorizes to be purchased. The text of the bill also states that each public school district as well as non-public school is subject to appropriations for this purpose and will receive a per student grant for the purchase of appropriate textbooks.

The bill also includes a section that permits the Board of Education to adopt rules as necessary to implement the law and make sure that religious neutrality is maintained. 

Response to the Legislation

The legislator who sponsored the bill has previously commented that one of the best ways to overcome intolerance is through education and exposure.

Many supporters of the measure have expressed the belief that hopefully teaching students about the invaluable contributions made by LGBTQ people will result in the creation of a much safer environment for LGBTQ individuals and fewer cases of harassment.

Another recognized advantage to this regulation is that LGBTQ children and young adults will be able to learn about new role models and gain an increased sense of identity.

How Other States Have Responded to the Issue

California became the first state to pass comparable legislation requiring schools to teach LGBTQ history in 2011. This legislation was followed by comparable decisions by Colorado as well as New Jersey in 2019. These decisions have split responses. 

While some people have responded to the issue as representing a perspective that is contrary to the religious beliefs of some people, other advocacy groups have responded to the decisions with nothing but praise for expanding the concept of American history.

Negative responses by state officials and conservative groups is one of several reasons why implementation of this law has been particularly slow. It remains to be seen what impact this regulation will have on less progressive states.

Documenting the Struggle for LGBTQ Rights

There have been both a number of advancements as well as obstacles that have arisen recently in this country regarding LGBTQ rights. By reading the Universal Life Church’s blog each month, you can remain up to date with the most noteworthy of these developments. Our blog focuses on describing the perspective of both sides in an unbiased manner.

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