Alice Hoagland, mother of 9/11 hero Mark Bingham, sent California Gov. Jerry Brown a letter Wednesday urging him to sign SB 48, the FAIR Education Act that would prohibit the discriminatory exclusion of LGBT people from public education. Hoagland has a very personal stake in this bill: Mark first learned about homosexuality in the library where the books only talked about gays as being perverted.
With this letter, Hoagland lends her voice to a growing chorus of people asking Brown to sign the bill. You can too: call 1-916-445-2841 and follow the prompts.
Governor Jerry Brown
California State Capitol Building
Sacramento, CAQ 95814
Re: SB 48, CA FAIR Education Act
Dear Governor Brown:
I've read some of the anti-SB 48 rhetoric: that September 11 is a subject that would be affected by "SB 48's attempt to inaccurately retell... history's harsh reality. " (Capitol Resources Institute)
Truth is, SB 48 will provide for a more accurate telling of September 11, by recounting the roles played by heroes, straight and gay, who fought side-by-side against that terrorist attack.
Shortly after my son revealed to me, at age 21, that he was gay, he told me, "Y' know Mom, when I was first figuring out that I was gay back in the early 80s, I did what you always told me to do when I needed answers. I went to the school library and looked up articles and books - on being gay. The only things I could find were stories about homosexuals as perverts who hung around public restrooms trying to make lewd connections...I knew there had to be better, more accurate information for kids than that slanted stuff. We need better information. We need to learn about gay heroes so we can model their behavior."
When I learned of SB 48, my son's words came back to me. Mark Leno has introduced a good bill: a bill that will provide for a more accurate telling of history. Simply by learning the truth in their history and social science classes about brave, strong gay individuals, California youth, straight or gay, will be able to identify with those individuals, and grow in self-respect.
I hope you'll support and sign SB 48, CA FAIR Education Act.
With high regard,
Alice A. Hoagland
Mother of Mark Bingham, UA Flt. 93, Shanksville, PA 9/11/01
(Image: Alice Hoagland and her son Mark Bingham hug. Photo from the documentary "With You." Crossposted at LGBTPOV.)