LGBT rights are slowly but surely advancing in America on the national and local levels. “Don’t ask, don’t tell” was officially repealed in September. California passed a law last week that requires public schools to teach students — from kindergarteners to high schoolers — about LGBT Americans as a part of U.S. history courses.
San Diego State University created California’s first LGBT major, to be offered in spring 2012.
California’s new law and SDSU’s groundbreaking new major underscore the importance of education in generating progress in LGBT rights. Legislature is necessary for change, but perhaps what this fight for rights really needs is a shift from the courts to the classroom.
There’s still much progress to be made. Parents have withdrawn children from school in response to the recently passed law. Same-sex marriage is legal in six states — New York, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Iowa, Vermont and New Hampshire — but not in California. Proposition 8 was overturned last August, but it is currently under stay, which prevents any new same-sex marriages.
When it comes to higher education, LGBT education is complex; and really is the most critical place for the movement to grow.