The motives for the very unusual procedure are unclear, but it means that the full Assembly will vote in August on something that should trouble even those who support full equality for gays, including marriage rights. California law already mandates such see-no-evil history instruction for a wide array of ethnic groups, substituting feel-good propaganda for what should be scholarly study. Adding more groups to this exercise in academic affirmative action just makes it that much worse and sends an absolutely wrong message to young minds about the truthfulness of their textbooks. Kids should be getting their history straight -- warts and all -- not sanitized by politicians who are pursuing other agendas...
Treating all people, regardless of sexual orientation, with absolute equality is one thing. In seeking such equality in marriages and other fields, gay rights advocates, it could be said, are occupying the moral high ground. There's nothing moral about legally mandating propaganda of any kind in the classroom.
Actually, I'm all for getting rid of "academic affirmative action" in our textbooks anyway. I said as much last year when I wrote about so-called ethnomathematics:
Just today on her site, Joanne had a story about a soon-to-be-required class in African and African-American history for all students in Philadelphia. One of the points that came up in the comments was, if it's history that's taught, more power to them. If it's nothing more than an attempt at making black students feel good about themselves, it'll be a useless class. One person questions "the idea that 21st century people should feel proud of what people who looked sort of like them did centuries ago, maybe..."
Young people need to be shown that they need to accomplish something in their own lives and be proud of that, not to be proud by dubious association with a group hundreds of years and thousands of miles removed from them.
As it is for race and ethnicity, so it is for sexual orientation.