A bill that seeks to include the historical contributions of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender Americans in California textbooks cleared its first legislative hurdle on Tuesday.

Voting along party lines, the Democrat-controlled Judiciary Committee voted 3 to 2 in favor of sending Senator Mark Leno's FAIR Education Act to the Senate floor.

“There is already a law on the books that says that various groups and their civil rights struggles have to be included in the education of the California children. And we're just asking to be included in that group – that list of groups [that are legally mandated to be included in current California social sciences books],” Jim Carroll, interim executive director of Equality California, the state's largest gay rights advocate, told Southern California Public Radio.

Opponents of the legislation include SaveCalifornia.com, the socially conservative group headed by Randy Thomasson.

“If the Democrats pass this perverse bill into law with [Governor] Jerry Brown's signature, it will be California's 7th statewide sexual indoctrination law indoctrinating impressionable children,” Thomasson said in an email to supporters. “There is no biological basis for homosexuality, and the overwhelming majority of HIV transmissions are the result of homosexual and bisexual behavior. To protect their kids from a raft of lies, parents have more reason than ever to leave behind government schools for the safe havens of homeschooling and church schools.”

The bill “corrects the straight-washing of California curriculum, which currently requires that students learn about the cultural and historic contributions of every group except LGBTs,” Stop8.org's Matt Baume said in his group's weekly video news update. “It's important that we end our exclusion for a lot of reasons. But the most urgent is that we know that learning about LGBT figures in schools reduces anti-LGBT harassment.”

Sarah Allis Yang testified against the bill in the Senate Education Committee last week, telling members that she had escaped from transgenderism.

“The reason I am here before you today is because I spent 19 years of my life as a man,” Yang said. “My first words were, 'I'm a boy.' If anyone can claim they were born this way, it was me. I thought I had no choice but to either get surgery or continue dating women as a man trapped in a girl's body. I became suicidal not because of societal pressures or lack of understanding or acceptance from others, but because I personally didn't want to live this way.”

“That is until God came into my life. Thirteen years later I totally embrace and accept myself for who I really am: a woman.”

“I am here before you today to ask that you vote against SB 48 because it promotes gender confusion and experimentation that threatens the safety of California's youth.”

Being gay, Yang added, “is a choice.” (The video is embedded in the right panel of this page.)