Last month, the Fair, Accurate, Inclusive, and Respectful Education Act was signed by California Governor Jerry Brown after being introduced by Sen. Mark Leno in December. The law requires schools to teach about the contributions of LGBT people throughout history.
The specifics of the execution of the law aren't quite clear yet, but the FAIR Act will be a positive way to ensure that the history of LGBT people isn't lost, and it will demonstrate that gays, lesbians, bisexuals, and trans people have always existed and contributed significant accomplishments to society. I'd love to see a lesson about the LGBT rights movement, but it would also be appropriate to learn about popular historical figures, from Michelangelo to Eleanor Roosevelt, whose non-hetero sexuality played a role in their lives.
In the last few weeks, The Capitol Resource Institute has been gearing up for a ballot referendum to overturn the FAIR Act. On July 25, they received approval to begin collecting signatures on petitions to get their proposed repeal of the non-discrimination requirements. If the law's opponents collect 504,760 signatures from registered voters by October 12, the law will be put to a vote in California.
Now, The Bilerico Project wants to develop a definitive list of historical LGBT figures and moments that California should teach about in schools. We want to show the scope of the FAIR Act's potential, and what overturning the progressive law would squander. We're asking modern LGBT names and voices their opinions, compiling nominations from Bilerico contributors, and we want your opinions, too!
Leave a comment in the comments section, or email me at adam[at]bilerico[dot]com, with your Top 5 LGBT figures! The final list will be compiled for next week!
* * *
Read All of Our LGBT History Coverage:
- Part One: Mon., Aug. 8 - Kramer, Baldwin, Wolfson, Andre, Weiss, Rogers & Meronek
- Part Two: Tues., Aug. 9 - Choi, Boylan, Conrad, Besen, Warren, Cheslik-DeMeyer & Lopp
- Part Three: Wed., Aug. 10 - Duque, Sklar, Kerr, Wooledge, Heath, Chlapowski, Monroe & Browning
- Initial Post: "Who Are the Most Important LGBT Figures in History?"