Illinois governor signs bill mandating schools teach LGBTQ history

The Rainbow Pride Flag blows in the breeze against the blue sky over the San Diego LGBT Pride Parade in the Hillcrest Neighborhood. (Shutterstock/Elizabeth Winterbourne)

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WTHR) - Illinois' governor signed a law that will require LGBTQ history to be taught in schools starting next year.

Gov. JB Pritzker signed House Bill 246 Friday.

A 2015 survey cited by the office of State Sen. Heather Steans (D-Chicago) showed nearly 70 percent of LGBTQ students in Illinois have been verbally harassed due to their sexual orientation. Steans was the sponsor of the bill.

“It is my hope that teaching students about the valuable contributions LGBTQ individuals have made throughout history will create a safer environment with fewer incidents of harassment,” Steans said. “LGBTQ children and teenagers will also be able to look to new role models who share life experiences with them.”

The bill will take effect July 1, 2020.

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