At this point, if kids are reading anything at all that isn't on a Facebook wall or a Twitter feed, that's a blessing. Seriously, getting children to read and to get interested in books is a Sisyphean task, and if you can find a way to get kids invested in literature, more power to you.
So when the California Department of Education released a new reading list, designed to get kids reading and to prepare them for college, most people probably just said, "Oh good, kids reading!" But when conservatives found out that the list included queer-inclusive books . . . Well, guess how well that went?
"Your children are not being taught rigorous academics or critical thinking. They're being taught social engineering that will hurt them physically and emotionally," said Randy Thomasson the executive director of SaveCalifornia.com.
The new book titles are recommended, not mandatory, and the state insists they were not chosen because of their LGBT themes.
"It's not based on content at all. It's mostly based on the quality of the literature," explained Lupita Alcala with the California Department of Education. "It could be non-fiction, fiction, biographies and poetry." [SOURCE]
First off, no one is making anyone read anything they don't want to. It's recommended reading, and with 7,800 books to choose from, it's a very special kind of ridiculous to get bent out of shape over a few books.
Second, there are queer people out there, whether you want to acknowledge us or not. Refusing to teach your kids about differences doesn't mean they'll magically grow up never having to interact with them; it just leaves them woefully unprepared for the real world so that you could indulge your own bigotry.