Our View: Senate oversteps authority with textbook bill | TheUnion.com

Our View: Senate oversteps authority with textbook bill

If you ask California lawmakers why we need a year-round Legislature, they will likely puff up their chests and say something along the lines of “our state has the sixth-largest economy in the world, thus we are needed to administer the affairs of this economic powerhouse.”

And then they will return to what they do best: serving special interests that can change as the wind blows or the cash flows.

The most recent example of this occurred Thursday when Senate Democrats voted to require that textbooks include the contributions of gays, lesbians, bissexuals and transgenders in California and the nation. The bill also bans textbooks and other material that portray these same groups in a negative light, which seems to indicate that lawmakers want to approve of textbooks’ content.

This is totally inappropriate legislation that smacks of totalitarianism.

It is a terrifying thought to allow politicians of any stripe to dictate the content of textbooks. How would supporters of this legislation feel if the political tide swung the other way and a law was passed that struck all references to gay, lesbian, bisexuals and transgenders from the history books?

This legislation also contradicts everything this community has strived for in the past. They have asked not to be judged by their sexual preferences but rather by their accomplishments and quality of character, which is how they should be judged.

Besides, the sexual preferences of historical figures should be of no concern to our students. The focus should be on what they have accomplished and how it was done. If in that context an individual’s sexuality is relevant, then the authors, editors and ultimately the schools can decide how to address it.

Finally, how does this legislation help our children become better students?

Two weeks ago, the Democrats in Sacramento voted to support a one-day boycott of California businesses. Now, they are telling schools what to put in their textbooks.What does any of this have to do with managing the affairs of this state?

The Assembly considers the bill next. Let’s hope common sense prevails and they reject this measure.

If it is approved in the Assembly and goes to Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s office for his approval, it is time to evaluate the need for a year-round Legislature.

It is becoming more clear that our Legislature is a treasure trove for special interests and that leaves the rest of us watching from the sidelines while our pockets get picked by those who can not or will not address the real problems that plague this state and its residents.

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