California Governor Signs FAIR Education Act, Requiring Schools to Add LGBT History to Curriculum


California Governor Jerry Brown has signed SB 48, the FAIR Education Act, which requires schools to add LGBT History to their curriculum.

Leno From Senator Mark Leno's office, some background on the bill:

Research indicates that students who learn about LGBT people find their school environments more accepting of LGBT youth. Students are also more likely to report that their LGBT peers are treated fairly at school – and that other types of peer-to-peer disrespect also declines – when LGBT people and issues are included in instructional materials.

In addition to including the role and contributions of LGBT Americans in educational materials, Senate Bill 48 ensures that the contributions of disabled people are included. The bill also adds sexual orientation to the state's existing anti-discrimination protections that prohibit bias in school activities, instruction and instructional materials. The bill is co-sponsored by Equality California and the Gay-Straight Alliance Network. 

Said Leno (pictured), the bill's sponsor: 

"Today we are making history in California by ensuring that our textbooks and instructional materials no longer exclude the contributions of LGBT Americans. Denying LGBT people their rightful place in history gives our young people an inaccurate and incomplete view of the world around them. I am pleased Governor Brown signed the FAIR Education Act and I thank him for recognizing that the LGBT community, its accomplishments and its ongoing efforts for first-class citizenship are important components of California's history."

Said Equality California Executive Director Roland Palencia: "Today marks a monumental victory for the LGBT equality movement as the struggle of the diverse LGBT community in California will no longer be erased from history. Thanks to the FAIR Education Act, California students, particularly LGBT youth, will find new hope and inspiration and experience a more welcoming learning environment."

And Carolyn Laub, Executive Director of Gay-Straight Alliance Network, added, "I am awed and humbled to be part of this historic moment. Today, we've written the latest chapter in the LGBT civil rights movement – one that will now be presented fairly and accurately in California schools. By signing the FAIR Education Act and ending the exclusion of the LGBT community from instructional materials, Governor Brown has realized the hopes of youth who have been fighting for safe and inclusive schools, where all students learn about our history and gain respect for each other's differences as a result. This is a part of the American story that we can be proud to know all students will learn."

Here's the text of the bill (PDF).


  1. Gay American says

    of course rightwing wackjobs will say – kids are gonna be taught GAY SEX..LOL….yes, cause well..when we learned about women’s suffrage in HS..well, it came with a training manuel on Vajj’s and how to stimulate them…LOL

  2. Mark says

    This must have the ultra-conservatives exploding with anger. It negates their entire mission behind anti-gay campaigns and referendums: to keep young people from discovering that gay is NORMAL (that’s right, normal, as in ‘it happens in nature’).

    There is nothing like a pissed off conservative (well, … maybe a dead conservative). We could all send an e-mail to someone like Senator Jeff Sessions or former senator Rick Santorum, asking them if they’re dead from anger yet, after learning about this.

  3. Howard says

    LOL @ Gay American. If a mention in a school textbook were enough to affect your sexuality for life…I’d be straight!


  4. StillmarriedinCA says

    It would have made such a difference in my life at that time to have learned that some of the historical figures that we studied in school were gay. This is another great step toward equality and acceptance.

  5. StillmarriedinCA says

    @jackfkntwist–It kind of was. Our state legislature passed marriage equality bills years ago–Twice!–and they got vetoed by that fine example of a family man: Arnold the Governator. The people here actually elect progressives and they do a good job. We just have this perverted system of referendums which really mess up how the government is run. When it is a representative government it works quite well….as opposed to when we let the people vote on stuff that they don’t really understand.

  6. says

    I love Mark Leno and Jerry Brown. Yesterday, on KGO Radio the topic was this bill and you should have heard the idiots claiming they would remove their children from public school and put them in private school so they would not learn the truth about gay people. It was hysterical! Puh…lee ease – take ’em out of public school and hide their little eyes behind the world of religious walls. How much more stupid can you get?

    This is a LANDMARK bill and every Caliofornian should be dancing with joy!

  7. ohplease says

    @jackfkntwist, I don’t want to be a downer on a good day, but the good guys totally had Prop 8 in the bag according to all the polls in the Spring of ’08. Then Equality California blew it. They took complete control of the No on 8 campaign, and then didn’t answer or refute a single one of the Mormon lies — not ever, not once — and ran ads that were so weak they wouldn’t have convinced a gay person to vote no on 8. The inexplicable part is that EQCA has done a ton of good stuff, like with FAIR, but they threw the fight when it counted the most. Why they threw away a sure thing remains a mystery.

    It was an aberration, yes, but that aberration didn’t come out of nowhere.

  8. SFshawn says

    This is FANTASTIC news and long overdue.
    It’s nice to win one once in awhile.
    It will be enjoyable to watch all the religious idiots,the gay haters,the ANTI-equality folks and those head in the sand parents getting angry,agitated,upset AND be on the’s the LAW now. Yahoo. Yippee. FU to the haters. Time to start living in reality. We are here,we are queer and we are not going anywhere except into the history books…FINALLY.

  9. says

    This is GREAT ! Even better, is that all of the redneck bigots will now pull their little monsters out of public schools, so now public schools will become a helluva lot safer for regular kids.

  10. Jim says

    A huge victory for the LGBT Community! ‘Thank you’ to the California legislators and Governor Jerry Brown for their support for the bill. We will be remembered for our contributions to the country and to the world!

  11. THE QUEEN says

    Chinese Student: “I know Calculus, Chemistry, and Physics”

    California Student: “I know Harvey Milk”

    Chinese Student: “That’s great, now can I get some fries and extra mustard with that order?”

  12. Dan says

    Since when did our schools’ curricula require affirmative action in favor of homosexuals?

    Wouldn’t it be more “fair” to base inclusion on merit? Since we’re going to highlight that “such-and-such-a-person was a tranny and he was associated with this noteworthy event,” maybe we should highlight the same for normal folks too!

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