LGBTQ Issues and Utah Schools
The link between religion and politics is apparent in Utah. This has the effect of making one set of values and worldviews the point of departure and return for policies and resources. The Mormon Church and its followers are a dominant part of the state’s population and infl uence most of the politics in the state. Policies governing everything from public behavior to schools are a refl ection of the norms of the Mormon religion. In this chapter, I examine how these norms interact with inclusivity, exclusivity, and recognition related to school policies and curriculum around LGBTQ individuals. I fi rst provide cases that illustrate the way that contexts affect the ways that LGBTQ individuals and issues are included or excluded from the curriculum. This is true with the offi cial and unoffi cial curriculum. When I say the unoffi cial curriculum, I mean the events and learning that take place outside of the stated educational objectives and curriculum of the school, which can be inside or outside of the school. When applied to school settings, Apple (2004) calls this the hidden curriculum. Next, I include the refl ections of three educators in the state who struggle with ways to increase LGBTQ inclusion in the curriculum.