New Jersey has become the second state in the nation after California ito require public schools to teach LGBT history. The measure was signed by Gov. Phil Murphy on Thursday and modeled after the law that passed in California in 2011 according to KATC3 in New Jersey.
The law says that New Jersey boards of education “must adopt instruction that accurately portrays the political, economic, and social contributions of persons with disabilities and lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people, where appropriate.”
The law also includes a requirement for schools to teach about people with disabilities and their historical contributions.
“Young people are learning about LGBT people already in schools but their identities are hidden,” said Christian Fuscarino, executive director of Garden State Equality told CNN, which advocated for the bill over several assembly sessions. “Figures like Bayard Rustin, who was the right-hand man to Martin Luther King, Jr. for civil rights, was a gay man.”
“The Governor believes that ensuring students learn about diverse histories will help build more tolerant communities and strengthen educational outcomes,” Murphy’s office said in a statement.
Trenton Mayor Reed Gusciora, an original sponsor of the bill, was one of two openly gay members of the legislature at the time said CNN.
“We often see in classrooms across the country the bullying of LGBT students, and this is a way they can incorporate into the curriculum that there are gay Americans that have made vast contributions to this nation,” Gusciora told CNN. “This is a way of encouraging students who feel that they’re outcasts that they too can make a contribution to American society.”