California Governor Jerry Brown signed a bill this week that makes California the first state in the nation to have lessons about gays and lesbians in social studies classes in public schools.

The new law requires that the California Board of Education and local school districts adopt textbooks and other teaching materials that cover the contributions and roles of sexual minorities by the 2013-14 school year.

“History should be honest. This bill revises existing laws that prohibit discrimination in education and ensures that the important contributions of Americans from all backgrounds and walks of life are included in our history books,” Brown said in a statement.

The bill has drawn criticism from some churches and conservative groups, who have argued that that type of instruction would expose students to a subject that some parents find objectionable.

The bill was authored by San Francisco State Senator Mark Leno, who said it is a “step towards teaching tolerance.”



Photo Credit: yohey1028, via Wikimedia Commons