Despite heavy opposition by pro-Turkey lobbying groups, the California State Assembly voted unanimously on Jan. 29 to pass Assembly member Adrin Nazarian's bill, AB 659, encouraging schools to use oral histories when teaching about the Armenian Genocide. AB 659 will now move on to State Senate for consideration, asbarez.com says.
"The unanimous passage of AB 659 sends a strong message that California officials cannot be bought or bullied into denying truth and justice. The ANCA WR commends Assembly members Nazarian and Achadjian for spearheading through this important genocide education legislation and looks forward to working with them in garnering similar support in the State Senate," stated Elen Asatryan, Executive Director of the ANCA-WR.
"AB 659 has enjoyed overwhelming support from my colleagues in the Assembly," commented Assembly member Nazarian, following the vote. "I look forward to continuing to work with the ANCA-WR to garner support from our counterparts in the Senate. The personal testimonies of Genocide survivors will give educators a powerful tool to engage students in the subject matter in ways they have never been taught before. If we expect to stop the genocides of the future, it is important that we strengthen the teaching mechanisms on past genocides," he continued.