Illinois Governor Mandates LGBT History for All Public Schools

Michael W. Chapman | August 12, 2019 | 2:08pm EDT
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( -- Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker (D) signed a bill into law on Friday that mandates all public schools in the state to teach "LGBT history" to students, emphasizing the "roles and contributions" of gays and transgenders in the history of Illinois and the United States. The law goes into effect on July 1, 2020.

The law amends the school code in Illinois. Specifically, it mandates that "the textbooks authorized to be purchased must include the roles and contributions of all people protected under the Illinois Human Rights Act and must be non-discriminatory as to any of the characteristics under the Act."

It further "provides that textbooks purchased with grant funds must be non-discriminatory" and "that in public schools only, the teaching of history of the United States shall include a study of the roles and contributions of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people in the history of this country and this State."

Illinois Democrat Gov. J.B. Pritzker (Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Commenting on the new law, State Sen. Heather Steans (D), a pro-LGBT advocate, said, “It is my hope that teaching students about the valuable contributions LGBTQ individuals have made throughout history will create a safer environment with fewer incidents of harassment. LGBTQ children and teenagers will also be able to look to new role models who share life experiences with them.”

Brian C. Johnson, the CEO of Equality Illinois, a homosexual activist group, said, “Thank you, Gov. Pritzker, for signing the Inclusive Curriculum Bill and ensuring that LGBTQ youth in Illinois will now see themselves in the history they are taught. We are excited this bill is now law in 2019 -- the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots and the birth of the modern LGBTQ equality movement."

"Also, thank you to Rep. Moeller and Sen. Steans, our fierce champions in the General Assembly," said dJohnson. "Your bold and unrelenting leadership and advocacy will benefit our youth for decades to come. As a former first grade teacher, I know how an inclusive education system can create change within a community. With this law, we will get closer as a state to telling the whole story of our shared history.”

In addition to the "LGBT history," the schools must also "include a study of the role of labor unions and their interaction with government in achieving the goals of a mixed free enterprise system. No pupils shall be graduated from the eighth grade of any public school unless he or she has received such instruction in the history of the United States and gives evidence of having a comprehensive knowledge thereof."

Gov. Jay Robert Pritzker is a member of the Pritzker family, which owns the Hyatt hotel chain, and he has an estimated net worth of $3.2 billion. 

Drag queens Athena Kills (C) and Scalene Onixxx arrive to awaiting adults and children for Drag Queen Story Hour at Cellar Door Books in Riverside, California on June 22, 2019. - Athena and Scalene, their long blonde hair flowing down to their sequined leotards and rainbow dresses, are reading to around 15 children at a bookstore in Riverside. The scene would be unremarkable -- except that they are both drag queens. The reading workshop is part of "Drag Queen Story Hour," an initiative launched in 2015 by a handful of libraries and schools across the United States. (Photo by Frederic J. BROWN / AFP) (Photo credit should read FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP/Getty Images)

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