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State Legislature Passes Bill To Include Gay History in Schools

SACRAMENTO (KCBS)— A bill that would require California's public schools to include the history of gay rights in their curricula won final legislative approval on Tuesday. The bill, which met fierce opposition from Republicans, is now on its way to Governor Jerry Brown's desk.

The law would make California schools the first in the nation to mandate the teaching of gay rights history, putting politicians like Harvey Milk alongside Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., as well as the civil rights struggles of Latinos and women.

KCBS' Doug Sovern Reports:

The State Assembly approved the measure, on a mostly party line vote, with San Diego's Nathan Fletcher the only Republican to join Democrats in voting yes. State Senator Mark Leno of San Francisco wrote the bill, which requires public schools to teach students about the contributions of LGBT Californians.

"This inclusive education rather than censoring their education, leaving out a page of our very proud California history, can only benefit them," said Leno.

Conservative Republicans, voting no, said the state shouldn't force schools to embrace the "homosexual agenda", but Leno said this won't just be good for gay kids.

"Also for the straight students who will come to understand that the strange kid sitting a few desks away who seems to be different in some way, is actually part of a proud community," Leno added.

Governor Brown hasn't said whether he'll sign the landmark legislation.

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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