County Fair

Tucker Carlson Wants Kids To Know The “Unhappy Facts” About Gay People

April 19, 2011 3:57 pm ET by Carlos Maza

On the April 19 edition of Fox & Friends, Fox News contributor Tucker Carlson bashed California’s FAIR Education Act (SB 48), a bill that would require state schools to teach students about the contributions of gay, lesbian, and transgender Americans to the development of California and the United States.  Carlson criticized the bill for presenting kids with “propaganda” about LGBT people and pushing a pro-Islam agenda in schools.

Carlson Calls SB 48 Is “Frivolous” For Focusing On Non-Essential Facts

CARLSON: What percentage of California’s public school seniors can identify the Magna Carta? What percentage Leon Trotsky? I mean, Leon Trotsky’s sex life may be interesting, but it’s not central to why he’s a world historic figure. He made the Russian revolution popular, which changed history. That’s the essential fact to know. And so you’re not preparing kids for life by dwelling on the sex lives of people to the exclusion of understanding why the world is the way it is today. [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 4/19/11]

Carlson is attempting to depict the bill as requiring teachers to talk about the sexual orientation of every notable historical figure, even when their sexual orientation has nothing to do with that figure’s accomplishments. In reality, the bill only requires that students acknowledge and study the role that LGBT Americans have played in the state and country’s social, economic, and political development:

51204.5. Instruction in social sciences shall include the early history of California and a study of the role and contributions of both men and women, Native Americans, African Americans, Asian Americans, Pacific Islanders, European Americans, lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Americans, and members of other ethnic and cultural groups,  to the economic, political, and social development of California and the United States of America, with particular emphasis on portraying the role of these groups in contemporary society. [Text of SB 48, accessed 4/19/11]

It’s likely that the bill will result in students learning lessons about Harvey Milk, the first openly gay man to be elected to public office in California and a major figure in the development of the modern gay rights movement. It is not at all likely that teachers will need to prepare lesson plans about Leon Trotsky’s sex life.

By the way, this “frivolous” measure has been tested in a secondary school in London, where teachers reported that incorporating lessons about prominent LGBT historical figures into their curriculum “more or less eliminate[d] homophobic bullying” between students.

Carlson Condemns Pro-LGBT Lessons As “Lying,” “Propaganda”

CARLSON: It’s propaganda. It’s lying. Whenever a school system is mandated by law to teach happy news, non-controversial, complimentary facts about a group of people, they are, by definition, excluding the unhappy facts and they are therefore lying. That is propaganda.


CARLSON: This is a bill that would do exactly what Mr. Leno says he doesn’t want to happen which is it would teach kids politically charged facts that are not the whole story. It would lie to kids. It would prevent schools from teaching things that somehow reflected poorly on a group that has political power. [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 4/19/11]

Carlson’s complaint is a gross misrepresentation of what the bill actually does. The section in question only prohibits the use of educational materials that reflect adversely on a person or persons “on the basis” of their sexual orientation:

The state board or any governing board shall not adopt any textbook or other instructional materials  for use in the public schools  that  contains any matter reflecting adversely upon persons on the basis of race or ethnicity, gender, religion, disability,  nationality, sexual orientation, or because of a characteristic listed in Section 220. [Text of SB 48, accessed 4/19/11]

In other words, school materials cannot negatively reflect on someone solely for being gay. LGBT historical figures can still be criticized for other reasons, so long as those criticisms are not rooted in attacking a person because of his/her sexual orientation.

It’s extremely important to note that SB 48 would simply amend already existing state law dealing with public school curricula on disempowered groups. Schools are already prohibited from using materials that adversely reflect on a person or persons on the basis of race, gender, nationality, etc. Is it safe to assume that Carlson also views lessons about the contributions of African-Americans and women as “propaganda?”

It’s also fascinating to watch Carlson berate SB 48 for distracting kids away from important historical lessons and then, in the next breath, preach the importance to teaching children about the “unhappy facts” about LGBT people.

Carlson: Nobody Is Opposed To Including Gay People In History Lessons

CARLSON: No one is suggesting, and no one, as far as I know, in the modern age, has ever suggested that people who are gay not be included in history, I mean that’s ludicrous. That’s not the current state of affairs. [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 4/19/11]

Yes they have, and yes it is:

Bob Unruh, writing for WorldNetDaily, calls the bill "sexual brainwashing":

Majority Democrats in the California legislature have given another thumbs-up to a "sexual brainwashing" plan that would require public school students to believe transgenders, bisexuals, homosexuals and those with other alternative sexual lifestyles are role models to be admired.

Randy Thommasson, president of, calls the bill a recruiting tool:

They want children in the classrooms statewide to be taught that they can be homosexual or bisexual or transsexual -- or they ought to be -- and that they'll enjoy it.

California Senator Bob Huff says the bill will "sexualize the training" of children:

To sexualize the training of our children at an early age, I do believe it will promote the agenda, and I think that's what is of concern.

A letter from the Thousand Oaks Christian Fellowship questioned the existence of "gay history":

This is all absurd. [...] At a time when our state lacks dollars to pay for the current needs in education, this Legislature is actually considering adding more financial burden on schools to pay for new textbooks that will teach so-called gay history.

Carlson: SB 48 Is “Clearly” An Effort To Shut Out Anti-Islam Information

DOOCY: One other thing. This bill would prohibit the adoption of any materials that reflect adversely on gays or particular religions so-

CARLSON: Ah yes.

DOOCY: That doesn’t sound good.

CARLSON: Yeah, “particular religions,” that does not mean evangelical Christianity, as you can well imagine. Clearly this is an effort to keep information that might be critical of Islam from reaching students. And again, that’s propaganda. [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 4/19/11]


This is now the second time in recent weeks that we’ve seen a mainstream conservative prioritize anti-gay bias over protecting religious liberty. It’s interesting to watch conservatives, who fume about the threat that pro-LGBT school policies pose to religious liberty and freedom, turn around and criticize religious protections in schools as attempts to push pro-Islamic propaganda on students. 


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