After failing to pass an amendment addressing the recent trans employee controversy at the U.S. Space and Rocket Center's Space Camp in Huntsville, State Rep. Mack Butler (R-Rainbow City) is still hoping for an all-encompassing legislative fix to the issue.

In February, Butler filed House Bill 130 (HB130), which would expand the state's prohibition of the discussion of sexual orientation and gender identity in K-5 classrooms to K-12 classrooms.

Earlier this month, Alabama lawmakers and thousands of other people responded to reports from Clay Yarbrough, a Huntsville father who learned that Molly Bowman, a biological male who identifies as a female, would be working in the overnight camp he planned to send his daughter.

Yarbrough included several screenshots from Bowman's social media, which was filled with hyper-sexual commentary.

The responses varied, with many expressing outrage at Space Camp and others supporting Bowman, saying he did nothing wrong.

Butler joined other lawmakers in suggesting a solution, offering an amendment to HB130 to address the issue.

Last week, State Rep. Mark Gidley (R-Hokes Bluff) attempted to amend the bill in committee. The amendment would have applied the teaching of sexual orientation and gender identity to Space Camp and other youth science programs.

The committee voted down the amendment, with several lawmakers expressing concern that it was singling out Space Camp.

The bill ultimately passed the committee without amendment. However, Butler said lawmakers are working on a floor amendment that would "basically cover any K-12 entities receiving state [dollars]." According to Butler, the purpose of the amendment is to address concerns that Space Camp was being uniquely targeted.

State Rep. Ben Harrison (R-Cartwright) told 1819 News that the amendment was still in the early stages but would likely apply to any state agencies that accept funds from the state's Education Trust Fund.

"What the amendment is going to say is, if you receive any Education Trust Fund money, you're included in the bill," Harrison said. "It's going to be something like that. I haven't cleared it with [the Legislative Services Agency], but we're going to be playing whack-a-mole. Some other agency, some other place is going to appear somewhere else. So I think this will cover everybody. You cannot expose children to this kind of stuff if you take state Education Trust Fund [money].

HB 130 is supported by the Alabama GOP, Moms For Liberty, Eagle Forum and the Alabama Policy Institute.

Also, in last week's committee meeting, the bill was amended to ban displaying a flag or other insignia relating to or representing sexual orientation or gender identity in a classroom or school grounds.

Butler is not alone in seeking a legislative fix to the Space Camp situation.

The Alabama House of Representatives is poised to consider a bill by State Rep. Susan DuBose (R-Hoover) that would codify definitions of man, woman, boy, girl, father, mother, male, female, and sex in Alabama law and allow local public entities to establish separate single-sex spaces or environments in certain circumstances. The bill allows for alternative gender identity while still allowing certain female-only spaces.

DuBose told 1819 News that the Space Camp situation highlights the need for her legislation.

"When I saw that, It made me realize immediately that we need to define male, female and sex into Alabama code because, in a situation like this, the Space Camp needs to have consistent information to go by," DuBose said.

She continued, "This bill defines biological sex, and it defines male and female. In the case of Space Camp, they could have said on their application that when we're dealing with female youth dorms, we need to hire individuals that, according to the Alabama code, meet our standards of male or female. If you just say male and female, that doesn't really tell you a whole lot in today's world. But, if you say male and female according to Alabama code, we would have that defined. Parents need to feel confident that their girls and boys will be comfortable and secure with counselors that they can count on and not have to worry."

To connect with the author of this story or to comment, email

Don't miss out! Subscribe to our newsletter and get our top stories every weekday morning.