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Mexico More Progressive Than California? August 22, 2006

Posted by newsfittopost in education, international, legislation, lgbt Issues.
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The California Assembly has passed a bill that requires fair treatment of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people in public school textbooks. The bill would prohibit negative stereotypes about LGBT people in the classroom, school activities and textbooks, but Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger may veto the legislation. A requirement that seems fair enough – not bashing gay and lesbian people who also happen to be in most classrooms – has created quite the controversy in California.

Of course, anti-gay groups have distorted the intent of this bill – to provide a safe and welcoming environment for all students to learn – and have made it about themselves instead. Randy Thomasson of Campaign for Children and Families:

We call upon Governor Schwarzenegger to veto SB 1441 to keep the big nose of government out of religion. SB 1441 punishes people of faith who believe that marriage is for a man and a woman, people who understand that you’re born male or female, not in-between. Religious freedom is an important right that must not be infringed. Conservatives are demanding that the Governor veto this religion-squashing bill.

While the so-called Christian groups complain about how oppressed American Christians are (with “only” 76.7% of Americans who identify as Christian), Mexico seems to have marginalized religious bigotry in its education system.

This year, federally mandated biology textbooks for seventh graders in Mexico will include information on gay and lesbian people and will explain there is nothing wrong with being gay. The government has implemented the new textbooks in an effort to fight discrimination against gay people in the predominantly Roman Catholic country. They have also noted that it could be an effective tool in preventing HIV and AIDS.

The Mexican education plan goes farther than the “controversial” education bill in California. The legislation approaching Schwarzenegger’s desk does not condone gay and lesbian people, it simply adds sexual orientation and gender identity to a list of other minority groups that are protected from hate speech or humiliation during school hours.

Assembly members in California find the watered-down education bill to be a small but important step towards protecting LGBT students. Schwarzenegger claims to support gay and lesbian people despite his veto of the marriage equality bill. Whether he vetoes this bill or not will be a good indicator of whether he truly has compassion for struggling gay and lesbian students and people.

Visit Equality California and voice your support for SB 1441 by sending Schwarzenegger an email.

One other interesting statistic: 60 percent of Mexico City residents support marriage equality and only 26 percent are opposed. Yes, it is an urban area and not a rural village or town, but a telling statistic nonetheless.

UDPATE: Check out what Good As You has to say about the California education bill.

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Comments»

1. Dane - September 2, 2006

My problem with this legistration is not that it restricts saying anything negitave about homosexuals but that it resticts saying anything negitave about homosexuality. Come on, it’s a religius and social opinion that’s very common in the USA and this bill restricts the FREEDOM OF SPEACH to give this opinion. No matter what you think of homosexuality you most likely agree that the best way to convince anyone to agree with you is never to force them from speaking their opinion.


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