LGBT Curriculum Bill still alive in Illinois assembly

SPRINGFIELD — A bill that would require LGBTQ history to be taught in Illinois schools is moving through the state legislature again.

The bill passed the State Senate last year, but didn’t go any further.

NPR Illinois in Springfield reported that State Rep. Deborah Conroy (D-Villa Park) is cosponsoring the bill. Anna Moeller (D-Elgin) is the main sponsor.

From NPR Illinois:

“From a mental health perspective, I would like to tell you that this will save lives. Bullying is one of the biggest issues that we face in terms of not only suicide within our youth, but our shooters.’’ Conroy said. ““When all of us sit around the table and talk about working to prevent crisis within mental health and people losing their battles with mental health, this bill will actually save lives, and it’s basically a human right.”

The bill calls for teaching of American history in Illinois schools to include positive contributions of LGBT people but does not otherwise specify what be taught.

It also says that textbooks purchases will include contributions of people protected under the Illinois Human Rights Act, which says individuals will not be discriminated against because of such things such as gender, sexual orientation, race and religion.

Of course, the Illinois Family Institute (IFI) doesn’t like it. Ralph Rivera of the IFI told NPR Illinois, “This is a mandate for schools and therefore a mandate on those students to learn something that is against their religious views.”

The bill is an initiative of Equality Illinois, the Illinois Safe Schools Alliance, and the Legacy Project and is supported by the Illinois State Board of Education and a broad coalition of statewide and local educational, civil rights, health, and civic organizations. It passed the Senate in May of 2018, but the House recessed before it voted on it.

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