Here is an interesting piece from USA Today‘s Cathy Lynn Grossman looking at a possible new amendment to California’s social studies curriculum: the inclusion of a section on LGBT contributions to history. Besides blurring the lines between teaching a subject and indoctrinating a point-of-view, this potential law is interesting because it represents a modest attempt to rewrite “tradition.” In the battle over marriage, often the discussion is framed as tradition vs. homosexuality, but by attempting to draw homosexuality out of the history books, it seems the LGBT lobby is also seeking to assert that homosexuality, in fact, has a rich tradition of its own, and consequently, that “traditional marriage” is a little more mythological than people thought.

Of course this still leaves open the questions: 1) does homosexuality really have a rich history, or is this simply a propaganda tool? and 2) if it does, is it proper to dedicate an entire section of class to the study of homosexuals and homosexuality? As for the first question, we’ll simply note that if homosexuality does, in fact, have a rich historical tradition, it has passed under the radar of a great many historians, but on the second question, it’s worth noting Randy Thomasson’s comment: “True history focuses on the accomplishments of people – it doesn’t talk about what they did in the bedroom.” If not correct on every count (after all, people have historically done things in their bedrooms), Thomasson is at least on to something in this regard: it certainly seems odd to dedicate an entire section of historical study to what people did there…

Image Credit: Christopher Stott