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Illinois House passes bill to require LGBT history in public schools

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The Illinois House passed a bill Wednesday that would require K-12 public schools to teach LGBT history in class.

The bill, which passed by a vote of 60-42, would require textbooks “include the roles and contributions of all people protected under the Illinois Human Rights Act” and “the teaching of history of the United States shall include a study of the roles and contributions of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people in the history.”

State Rep. Anna Moeller (D-Elgin) who sponsored House Bill 246 said the measure would give LGBT students role models to look up to, according to Illinois News Network.

“There was no common history to counter that,” Moeller said. “Let’s change that narrative in Illinois. Let’s give LGBT students a safe inclusive and welcoming environment and ensure that all of our students have an accurate and improved history and understanding of how LGBT individuals and movements have contributed and shaped our world today.”

Critics of the bill, such as State Rep. Tom Morrison (R-Palentine), asked why someone’s sexuality is important to elementary school history.

“How or why is an historical figure’s sexuality or gender self-identification even relevant, especially when we’re talking about kindergarten and elementary school history?” Morrison said. “Furthermore, there’s no parental opt-out nor even any notification so the parents can know if, when or how to talk about these topics with their children.”

The bill now heads to the Senate for a vote.

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