JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – A new bill would allow Missouri schools to teach history about the roles and contributions of the LGBTQ community to students.

First-year State Rep. Doug Mann (D – 50th District) introduced HB 507 as the state’s new legislative session opened on Wednesday.

According to the bill, school districts would not be required, but may choose to “teach students information on the roles and contributions of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people in the history of the United States.”

The bill calls for schools to familiarize sudents with the history of LGBTQ social movements and current issues within the community. Mann says the bill is intended to “protect the right to teach” and is hopeful the legislation will promote more acceptance and diversity among younger generations.

“With a rise in discrimination against the LGBT community, we must educate the next generation on the contributions of the LGBT community as well as the historical struggles the community has faced,” said Mann via Twitter on the bill.

In neighboring Illinois, Gov. J.B. Pritzker approved legislation in 2019 to require schools to teach age-appropriate lessons on LGBT history.

At least one Missouri lawmaker has countered with legislation taking a different stance on LGBTQ rights in the state. State Sen. Justin Brown (R – 16th District) has introduced SB 87, legislation known as the “Save Women’s Sports Act.” That would prevent anyone not assigned female at birth from playing in “sports or athletic competitions, tournaments, and games intended for individuals under the age of nineteen” for girls’ teams at schools.