WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — Illinois recently became the fourth state to adopt a policy requiring public schools to teach students about the contributions of LGBTQ people to society, and Maryland is primed to become the fifth.
While advocacy groups say the curriculum promotes inclusion and acceptance, but some faith-based and conservative groups call it a government overreach that ignores some families’ religious beliefs.
The Human Rights Campaign, the nation’s largest gay rights advocacy group, has been championing the lessons that highlight the accomplishments and struggles of LGBTQ people throughout history.
“There’s something so important about seeing yourself reflected,” said Sarah Warbelow of the Human Rights Campaign. “Ultimately, we really do need every state to incorporate LGBTQ history.”
Her organization was expecting pushback, and it’s getting it.
“I think this is really an abuse and a corruption of the educational process,” said Peter Sprigg of the conservative Family Research Council, calling the lessons “political propaganda.”
“Young students who receive these one-sided lessons would be receiving a distorted view of history,” he said.
He said his organization will fight to keep states from adopting the policy.
Lawmakers in six states, including Alabama and Louisiana, have already gone further than that, passing laws that ban classes that “promote homosexuality.”
But the Human Rights Campaign argues the decisions should be made at the local level and it hopes individual districts will ultimately decide to add the LGBTQ lessons.
“You can do with that information as you chose, but we’re not going to refuse to allow children have access to information,” Warbelow said.