Statement by NCLR Executive Director Kate Kendell

(San Francisco, CA, July 14, 2011)—Today, California Governor Jerry Brown signed into law Senate Bill 48, known as the Fair, Accurate, Inclusive and Respectful (FAIR) Education Act. The FAIR Education Act amends the California Education Code to include instruction on the contributions of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people. The new law also prohibits discriminatory instruction and discriminatory materials from being adopted by the State Board of Education.

The FAIR Education Act was introduced on December 13, 2010 by Senator Mark Leno of San Francisco and sponsored by Equality California and Gay-Straight Alliance Network. It was passed by the California Senate, on a 23-14 vote, on April 14, 2011, and by the California Assembly on July 6, 2011, on a 49-25 vote. NCLR helped write the legislation and strongly supported its passage.

Statement by NCLR Executive Director Kate Kendell:

“We salute Governor Brown for signing, Senator Mark Leno for sponsoring, and the California legislature for passing this historic bill that reverses decades of censorship and discrimination against LGBTQ people in public school classrooms. Finally, all California students will learn about the contributions and accomplishments of LGBTQ people throughout history and into the present. LGBTQ students will be able to live openly and with pride, knowing that their state and their schools embrace them and recognize their worth. The Governor’s and legislature’s foresight will be repaid many times over when the next generation of California youth enter the world as healthier, more confident, and better-educated adults. This is the beginning of a new era of full inclusion and support for LGBTQ youth and their families in public schools, and I am proud that California is once again leading the way.”

The National Center for Lesbian Rights is a national legal organization committed to advancing the civil and human rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people and their families through litigation, public policy advocacy, and public education.