Gov. Phil Murphy, a Democrat who promised to promote equality for gay and transgender, signed the bill Thursday, making transgender advocates thrilled.
Jaime Bruesehoff, of Vernon, whose 12-year-old transgender child Rebekah spoke in support of the bill said. “This bill is so important for our young people.”
“By learning about LGBTQ people who have made amazing contributions to their country, they are seeing possibilities for themselves and hope for the future,” she said.
Others see the move as a push to further support a mental disorder.
“Under the measure, public schools must include lessons about the political, economic and social contributions of individuals who are gay and transgender, starting in the 2020-21 school year.”
The law does not apply to private schools.
A number of organizations have opposed proposals to teach gay and transgender history, arguing that such indoctrination removes parental authority and encourages children, who do not have the maturity required for making such decisions, to question their sexuality.
Len Deo, president of the New Jersey Family Policy Council, said “We believe it 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.”
Deo argued “individuals should be included in lessons based on achievements without discussion of sexual orientation. He noted that New Jersey already has what many education experts consider the strongest anti-bullying law in the country.”
“The New Jersey law was modeled after one that took effect in California in 2012. It’s one of a several measures that the Murphy administration has backed or approved for LGBT rights.
“In September, New Jersey issued guidance to schools that were designed to promote transgender-friendly policies on the use of names and pronouns, participation in activities, use of facilities and student records.
“One of 11 states with similar policies, New Jersey’s is considered the most progressive because it tells schools that gender identity should rest with the student and that parents don’t need to be notified.
“And on Feb. 1, a law went into effect that lets transgender residents more easily change the gender on their birth certificates while also adding a third, gender-neutral option.”
Many people argue that the real victims of this new law will be the children who are confused by a promotion of a lifestyle that violates science and nature.