Although the What is a Woman Act failed to receive consideration in the Alabama House of Representatives, State Rep. Susan DuBose (R-Hoover) is confident in having the bill passed next session.
House Bill 405 (HB405), also called the What is a Woman Act, sought to standardize definitions of man, woman, boy, girl, father, mother, male, female and sex to use the terms in the Code of Alabama.
The bill received vehement backlash from transgender individuals who showed up in opposition to the legislation for the public hearing in the House Health Committee.
Despite receiving a public hearing, the bill failed to receive a floor vote before the legislative session ended.
DuBose had a successful first session. She sponsored a bill banning collegiate athletes from competing on teams designed for the opposite sex. That bill was signed into law by Gov. Kay Ivey late last month. The experience makes DuBose believe she will be "a better legislator next year."
"I was happy that leadership let us, as freshmen, take the lead role on a lot of bills," DuBose said. "To their credit, they trained us, they gave us some prep, and then we had some opportunities. So, I am very appreciative of that."
She continued, "I did not have conversations with leadership about the What is a Woman Act, as far as timing on that; it's kind of just how it happened. I went with the women's sports bill first, and I am glad I did because it was just a more clearly defined bill that had already been passed in 18 states by the time I got to it. With the What is a Woman Act, leadership knew I was bringing it, but we didn't really have a conversation about the timing of it.
DuBose said the experience taught her a lot, and she will bring the bill next year, having listened to critiques from opponents and proponents.
"I listened to the public," DuBose said. "Not just those that spoke, but also people that I got input from by email. So, I think it's helpful to get that perspective. So now that I have a little time, I will go back and tweak some things, maybe add some things. It will give me an opportunity to look at other states' legislation. So far, it's only been passed in, I think, two states. So it will give me an opportunity to study more model legislation to make this stronger and more clear."
She continued, "I'm looking forward to it. This year I actually have all summer to study, work and plan on what I want to do, whereas last year, I had not been through a legislative session. I didn't really know how to craft a bill. I've learned so much, I feel like I'll be able to be more effective now."
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