Letters: Gay History

Robert Siegel and Michele Norris read letters from our listeners.

Copyright © 2011 NPR. For personal, noncommercial use only. See Terms of Use. For other uses, prior permission required.

ROBERT SIEGEL, Host:

Time now for your letters. And many of you commented on our item yesterday about a new law in California that requires public schools to teach gay and lesbian history.

Here's what I asked the author of the bill, State Senator Mark Leno.

SIEGEL: I don't mean to be flippant about this, but if one deed is adding time to the school year to learn about Harvey Milk and to learn about peoples with disabilities and other gay, lesbian and transgendered Americans and Californians, what comes out of it? What are the things that we have been teaching kids that we can throw overboard at this point?

MARK LENO: Well, I'm not here to tell you I know exactly how much time. But even 30 minutes, 40 minutes out of an entire school year is probably there to be found.

SIEGEL: Well, John Denker of Twinsburg, Ohio writes this: Boy, did that make my blood boil. Am I to assume then that future students will not learn about current events because adding this new information would require throwing overboard things that are taught now? It all makes it sound like the interviewer doesn't consider the information on gay history worthy of teaching.

And Inga Byorn's(ph) daughter of Goleta, California asks this: Will they have time? Is time the issue? What an outrageous question. Did Americans have time to waste to listen to Martin Luther King? Did Americans have time to waste to listen to the women who fought for women's rights?

MICHELE NORRIS, Host:

Also yesterday, we heard about two injured bald eagles reunited in rehab. And many of you wrote in, not about the story itself, but about the music we played after.

SIEGEL: As the story ended and the somewhat sappy lyrics of "The Best of My Love" took over, I found myself almost disappointed. Granted, it's a song about love and they were a mated pair of eagles, but still, then it hit me: The Eagles. Ha. Nicely done.

SIEGEL: Thank you for your comments. And please keep them coming. Send them to us at npr.org. Just click on Contact Us at the bottom of the page.

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