New Jersey Passes a Law Requiring All Public Schools to Teach LGBT (& Q?) History



New Jersey’s really on the move (like here).

On Thursday, Governor Phil Murphy signed into law a mandate for the state’s public schools to teach LGBT history.


One of the celebrants of the legislation was Jamie Bruesehoff, whose son, Rebekah, identifies as a girl.

Jamie (or Rebekah?) had a few words to say:

“This bill is so important for our young people. They need to see examples of themselves in the history being taught and in classes they are going to each day. We know representation matters.”

Here’s a bit more about Jamie (and Rebekah), whose Twitter handle is @hippypastorwife:

Jamie was, incidentally, “shattered” by the United Methodist Church’s recent decision not to allow gays into leadership positions:

But she’s giddy today:

“By learning about LGBTQ people who have made amazing contributions to their country, they are seeing possibilities for themselves and hope for the future.”


Christian Fuscarino, of the Garden State Equality group, was also jazzed:

“Our youth deserve to see how diverse American history truly is — and how they can be a part of it one day, too.”

Someone not too psyched? Len Deo, head of the New Jersey Family Policy Council:

“We believe [the law] further erodes the right of parents to discuss this sensitive issue with their children, if in fact schools are going to be promoting and making the claim that this particular person was an LGBTQ member.”

According to Len, a person’s achievements — not their sexual proclivities — should constitute their history book profile. Furthermore, he noted to the North Jersey Record that the state already has one of the most potent anti-bullying laws in the country, which should sufficiently serve the LGBT community well.

But some want more.

As per NJR:

By teaching about lesbian, gay, transgender and bisexual communities in schools, students will feel more connected, which will help their mental health and ability to learn, said Kathryn Dixon, Northern New Jersey policy coordinator for [Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network] (which, as stated on the website, has been “championing LGBTQ issues in K-12 education since 1990”). It fosters respect and connectivity and develops a culture and climate where everyone feels safe.


And we’re, perhaps, headed here:

The lessons shouldn’t be confined to the history of the gay rights movement, Dixon added. Rather, schools should also include everyday examples of LGBT individuals and families across subjects.

The new law makes New Jersey only the second state in the union to require schools to teach gay history.

California was the first.



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