Jim Carroll, interim executive director of Equality California, one of the organizations sponsoring the FAIR Education Act authored by state Sen. Mark Leno, and Ned Dolejsi, Executive Director of the California Catholic Conference, discussed the bill with Larry Mantle on KPCC’s Air Talk on Tuesday, April 19 (Download audio).
The FAIR Act passed out of the Senate Judicary Committee on April 5 by a vote of 3-2. The bill, a natural extension of the statewide celebration of Harvey Milk Day, would include LGBT history and contributions into middle and high school history classes. In introducing the legislation, Leno pointed out that such an education would increase school safety and decrease bullying. Mantle explored questions such as: Have gays been excised from history and their contributions minimized? Is sexual orientation even relevant in this context? And does the government have the responsibility to force the inclusion of LGBTs in history textbooks?
Click here to read a May 2010 Harvey Milk Day interview with Stuart Milk about his uncle’s legacy and see a video from openly gay Assembly Speaker John A. Perez on Milk’s influence and click here to read about Milk’s induction into the California Hall of Fame last December by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. The induction, Leno said:
“recognizes the important leadership role Harvey Milk played in our state and nation and further illustrates the historic and international nature of his legacy. He gave his life for what he believed in, and in doing so gave hope to generations of LGBT Californians who continue to struggle for full equality.”