Illinois became the latest U.S. state nationwide after New Jersey and Colorado to mandate LGBTQIA+ history curriculum to be taught by qualified social studies instructors in all of its public schools on Monday, August 12. Passed in the state legislature based in Springfield and signed into law by Governor J.B. Pritzker, the new law, which will go into effect next year in July 2020, will require all public schools in the state to include historical, social, and or cultural contributions to the country as well as the state of Illinois made by the LGBTQIA+ community in official textbooks.
Since California became the first state in the country to mandate LGBTQIA+ history curriculum to be taught in all of its public schools back in 2011, other states in 2019 such as New Jersey and Colorado have followed suit. Meanwhile, states such as Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma, South Carolina, and Texas currently have in place “no promo homo” laws that expressly forbid public education teachers from discussing LGBTQIA+ related issues in public schools.
Despite the legalization of same-sex marriage equality and the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, the LGBTQIA+ community nationwide continue to face inequalities such as no federal civil rights protection laws prohibiting any type or sort discrimination based on an individual’s non-sexual orientation and gender identity, the continuing ban or restriction on non-heterosexual cisgender men donating blood, and no federal laws banning conversion therapy for LGBTQIA+ minors under the age of 18 years old.
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