Education A State Capitals Roundup

Ark. Bill Would Require Texts to Define Marriage

By Vaishali Honawar — January 25, 2005 1 min read

An Arkansas lawmaker wants public school textbooks to define marriage as the union of a man and a woman.

Rep. Roy Ragland, a Republican, said in an interview last week that he introduced the School Textbook Marriage Protection Act after state voters “overwhelmingly passed an amendment to the Arkansas Constitution in November defining marriage as the union of a man and a woman.”

He said he was not aware of any textbooks currently in use that would violate such a law, and called his bill a “preventative measure” that would apply only to any new textbooks considered by the state department of education.

The bill has bipartisan co-sponsors, including 22 in the House and 11 in the Senate. Mr. Ragland said he expects it to pass easily. The House education committee expected to consider the bill late last week. Four of the committee’s nine members are listed as co-sponsors.

A version of this article appeared in the January 26, 2005 edition of Education Week