Illinois School LGBT+ History

Progress has been made in the US State of Illinois, following Senate approval of a new bill calling for the inclusion of historical events and contributions by LGBT+ people in schools.

The Inclusive Curriculum Bill, which aims to ensure that the state’s public school curriculum is inclusive of LGBT+ history, will be the only bill f its type with the exception of California who became the first and still only other state in the United States to approve LGBTQ-inclusive history and social studies textbooks for primary schools.

The addition of LGBT+ history into the Illinois School Code follows the inclusion of the contributions and experiences of other historically marginalised communities, including people of colour, women, immigrant communities, and people with disabilities.

Sponsored by Equality Illinois, who are the state’s civil rights organisation for LGBT+ Illinoisans, and the Illinois Safe Schools Alliance, who promote safety, support, and healthy development for LGBT+ students in schools, the bill has received widespread support from across the state.

LGBT+ Youth

“By including information in public school curriculum about the contributions of LGBTQ people and the historical events they were involved in, we will get closer as a state to telling the whole story of our shared history,” explained Brian C. Johnson, CEO of Equality Illinois.

“An inclusive history will affirm for LGBTQ students that people just like them existed and made significant contributions to society,” Johnson added.

“This inclusive history will also benefit non-LGBTQ students, who would be taught the whole story about the achievements of LGBTQ people and the historical events that impacted all of us.”

The Inclusive Curriculum Bill will soon go to the House of Representatives for a vote, and is likely to face critics, who claim that it impinges on so-called “religious freedom.”