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LGBTQ History Will Now Be Taught in Illinois Schools

LGBTQ History Will Now Be Taught in Illinois Schools

LGBTQ History Will Now Be Taught in Illinois Schools

"One of the best ways to overcome intolerance is through education and exposure to different people and viewpoints," Illinois state senator Heather Steans said. 

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Last Friday, Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker signed into law House Bill 246 which will ensure "the contributions of LGBTQ people are taught in public schools," reports WGN-TV.

"In public schools only, the teaching of history 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," the bill reads. "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."

According to WGN-TV, Equality Illinois, the state’s largest LGBTQ civil rights advocacy organization, supports the bill and "some topics that will be added to the new curriculum include the nation’s first gay rights organization, the Society for Human Rights, being formed in 1924 in Chicago, and Sally Ride, the first US woman in space, who was a lesbian."

State Senator Heather Steans, who sponsored the bill, released a statement on her website earlier this year.

"One of the best ways to overcome intolerance is through education and exposure to different people and viewpoints," she said. "An inclusive curriculum will not only teach an accurate version of history but also promote acceptance of the LGBTQ community."

Steans added: "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 gain new role models who share life experiences with them."

The bill goes into effect in July 2020.

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Taylor Henderson

Taylor Henderson is a PRIDE.com contributor. This proud Texas Bama studied Media Production/Studies and Sociology at The University of Texas at Austin, where he developed his passions for pop culture, writing, and videography. He's absolutely obsessed with Beyoncé, mangoes, and cheesy YA novels that allow him to vicariously experience the teen years he spent in the closet. He's also writing one! 

Taylor Henderson is a PRIDE.com contributor. This proud Texas Bama studied Media Production/Studies and Sociology at The University of Texas at Austin, where he developed his passions for pop culture, writing, and videography. He's absolutely obsessed with Beyoncé, mangoes, and cheesy YA novels that allow him to vicariously experience the teen years he spent in the closet. He's also writing one!