SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — The Illinois Senate has approved requiring public schools to teach LGBT history.
The Senate voted 34-18 Wednesday on the plan by Chicago Democratic Sen. Heather Steans (STAYNZ').
“By teaching students an inclusive curriculum, Illinois classrooms will promote acceptance and a more accurate portrayal of history,” said Steans, a Chicago Democrat and the legislation’s sponsor. “LGBT students will also learn about people who had some similar qualities to them and became historical role models.”
It would require schools to teach a history unit on the role in society and contributions of gays, lesbians and other LGBT individuals .
Steans says it is consistent with state law that already requires students learn the history of races or ethnicities like blacks, Asians, Hungarians, and French people.
California is the only state with an LGBT education law. It was enacted in 2017.
Republican Sen. Chuck Weaver of Peoria says the initiative could infringe on religious freedom. Other Republicans say schools would maintain control over how the topic is taught.
The legislation goes to the House.
The bill is SB3249 .