Gov. Kay Ivey has signed the controversial transgender bathroom bill into law.
House Bill 322 (HB322), which requires public K-12 schools to designate use of rooms where students may be in various stages of undress on the basis of biological sex, was filed in the Alabama House of Representatives by Rep. Scott Stadthagen (R–Hartselle) and had 47 co-sponsors. The prohibition will apply to bathrooms, showers, changing rooms, locker rooms or any other facility that is limited by gender.
“Here in Alabama, men use the men’s room, and ladies use the ladies’ room – it’s really a no-brainer,” Ivey said in a statement. “This bill will also ensure our elementary school classrooms remain free from any kind of sex talk. Let me be clear to the media and opponents who like to incorrectly dub this the 'Don’t Say Gay' amendment: That is misleading, false and just plain wrong. We don’t need to be teaching young children about sex. We are talking about five-year-olds, for crying out loud. We need to focus on what matters – core instruction like reading and math.”
The bill has certain exceptions, such as custodial care, employees carrying out work duties, emergency health services and caretakers providing physical assistance when necessary.
“The practice of requiring boys to use the boys’ restroom and girls to use the girls’ restroom is simple, common sense because we don’t get to choose our gender – God has already done that for us,” Stadthagen said. “Alabama is a state that is guided by Christian conservative values, and we must fight back against the liberal social architects who want to misinform, mislead and confuse our children about the most basic biological facts of life."
During the Senate proceedings, State Sen. Shay Shelnutt (R- Trussville) offered an amendment that prohibits the teaching of gender identity in the classroom for K-5 students. State Sen. Bobby Singleton (D-Greensboro) protested the amendment, stating that he supported the bathroom bill, but the amendment went too far.
State Rep. Chris England (D-Tuscaloosa) called the legislation “ugly” and claimed it “blatantly discriminated against transgender youth."
The law will go into effect on July 1, 2022.
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