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California governor signs landmark education bill

July 14, 2011

California Gov. Jerry Brown today signed the FAIR (Fair, Accurate, Inclusive and Respectful) Education Act, which ensures the historical contributions of LGBT people and disabled individuals are accurately portrayed in instructional educational materials in the state.

The Task Force congratulates all those who advocated for this groundbreaking measure. The bill was authored by Sen. Mark Leno, who said:

Today we are making history in California by ensuring that our textbooks and instructional materials no longer exclude the contributions of LGBT Americans. Denying LGBT people their rightful place in history gives our young people an inaccurate and incomplete view of the world around them. I am pleased Governor Brown signed the FAIR Education Act and I thank him for recognizing that the LGBT community, its accomplishments and its ongoing efforts for first-class citizenship are important components of California’s history.

The bill is co-sponsored by Equality California and the Gay-Straight Alliance Network.

Equality California Executive Director Roland Palencia said:

Today marks a monumental victory for the LGBT equality movement as the struggle of the diverse LGBT community in California will no longer be erased from history. Thanks to the FAIR Education Act, California students, particularly LGBT youth, will find new hope and inspiration and experience a more welcoming learning environment.

Carolyn Laub, executive director of Gay-Straight Alliance Network, said:

 I am awed and humbled to be part of this historic moment.  Today, we’ve written the latest chapter in the LGBT civil rights movement — one that will now be presented fairly and accurately in California schools. By signing the FAIR Education Act and ending the exclusion of the LGBT community from instructional materials, Governor Brown has realized the hopes of youth who have been fighting for safe and inclusive schools, where all students learn about our history and gain respect for each other’s differences as a result. This is a part of the American story that we can be proud to know all students will learn.

Read the groups’ full statement here.

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