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Calif. lawmakers OK lessons on gays in textbooks

Written by: Staff
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SAN FRANCISCO, May 12 (Reuters) California's state Senate has passed a bill that would require textbooks in public schools to instruct students on contributions by gays and lesbians in the state's development.

The Democrat-led state Senate passed the bill on a 22-15 vote and forwarded it to the state Assembly yesterday.

The bill by Sen. Sheila Kuehl, the legislature's first openly gay member, would also mandate public school textbooks to include lessons on contributions by transgender people.

Kuehl told Reuters she believes her bill is the first of its kind at the state level and predicted it would win support in the Assembly, where Democrats also have a majority.

''I think it has a very good chance in the Assembly because its members voted for marriage equality,'' Kuehl said, referring to the chamber's endorsement of same-sex marriage. ''I think this is a lot easier vote.'' ''It would help to shape attitudes of what gay people are really like,'' Kuehl said, noting their absence in state history textbooks.

Karen England of the conservative Capitol Resource Institute said in a statement the bill ''seeks to indoctrinate innocent children caught in the tug-of-war between traditional families and the outrageous homosexual agenda.'' A spokesman said Republican Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has not taken a position on Kuehl's bill.

REUTERS PDS PM0709

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