Keep LGBT History in California Schools

At COLAGE we believe all students deserve to learn about the historical contributions of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people. We believe all families should be celebrated in our schools. And we know, thanks to studies published by the GSA Network, that when LGBT people are included in school curriculum all students feel safer at school.

The FAIR Education Act requires local school districts in California, with input from parents and teachers, to integrate factual, age-appropriate information about social movements, current events and the contributions of gay and disabled leaders into existing social studies lessons that include contributions of both men and women, people of color and other groups. It also prevents schools from adopting learning materials with a discriminatory bias or negative stereotypes based solely on race, ethnicity, religion, disability and sexual orientation.

The FAIR Education Act, SB48, ensures that all students in California will learn about the historic contributions that LGBT people have made to society – history like Harvey Milk’s groundbreaking run for Mayor of San Francisco or Bayard Rustin’s organizing of the Civil Rights march and acting as an adviser to Martin Luther King Jr.

Now, well-funded anti-gay groups are organizing to put a repeal of the law on the ballot this November meaning once again our families will be under attack and our history erased. You have seen how vicious, anti-gay campaigns like those during Prop 8 increase violence and bullying in schools and in our communities. This campaign is no different, the anti-gay groups are already spreading harmful misinformation about this law. We must work together by sharing our stories with our friends, neighbors, coworkers, and family about why it is important to our families to continue including the contributions of LGBT people and all people in accurate history lessons in our schools.

Listen to this segment on California Public Radio feartuing Paulo Sibaja, whop filed the paperwork to launch the repeal effort, and Rebekah Orr, Communications Director, Equality California.

Southern California Public Radio: FAIR Education Act by COLAGE

Take Action:

We need your eyes and ears on the ground today. If you spot an anti-LGBT, anti-progressive signature gatherers, report them immediately by calling the toll-free “Decline to Sign Hotline” at 1-877-440-9585. We’ll immediately dispatch a trained “truth squad” to make sure potential petition signers know the truth about these initiatives including the referendum on the FAIR Education Act.
We’re working to protect the FAIR Education Act and block this referendum from the ballot as
part of a broad coalition of organizations including advocates for people with disabilities, LGBT
organizations, labor unions, faith communities, racial justice groups and many other groups that
believe in equality for all.

Please take a moment to write a letter to your local or state-wide newspapers about why it is important for all students to learn about the historic contributions of LGBT people.  Whether you have LGBTQ parents or you’re working to create a world that treats all families with dignity and respect, your voice counts.

In your letter:

  • Encourage people not to sign any petitions to put a repeal of the FAIR Education Act on the ballot.
  • Share a brief personal story about why this issue is important to you


Here is a list of contact information for California newspapers.

Be sure to submit your letter to COLAGE so that we can keep it on record, and share it widely!

California Teachers Association, National Center for Lesbian Rights, ACLU Northern and Southern California, the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, Freedom to Marry, API Equality Northern California and Los Angeles, GLSEN, GAPSN, Our Family Coalition, COLAGE, Courage Campaign, Latino Equality Alliance, the San Diego LGBT Community Center, Transgender Law Center, Bayard Rustin LGBT Coalition, Vote for Equality, San Francisco Pride, Jordan Rustin Coalition, Alice B. Toklas Democratic Club, Orange County Equality Coalition, and Honor PAC.

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