The B.C. Ministry of Education has agreed to add an elective social justice course to the high school curriculum that includes gay and lesbian issues.

The move is part of a settlement between the provincial government and a Lower Mainland couple who had filed a human rights complaint seven years ago.

Coquitlam teacher Murray Corren and his same-sex partner, Peter, had accused the Ministry of Education of discrimination against gay students and the children of same-sex partners.

The Correns have dropped their complaint, following the government's agreement to add gay and lesbian issues to an elective course.

Murray Corren says they're satisfied the new course and a curriculum review will make B.C. schools more inclusive.

"As a teacher, when I looked through the curriculum documents, I could see very little acknowledgment or evidence that the existence of gay and lesbian people in our society and in history was pretty well absent from the curriculum.

"We felt that was discriminatory."

The new course will be an elective on social justice issues offered to Grade 12 students. It will cover a range of topics, including race, ethnicity, gender and sexual orientation.

The province has also agreed to review the entire curriculum to make sure it is inclusive and respectful of all students.

The course will begin as a pilot program in September of next year before being added to the curriculum in 2008.