MONTGOMERY — The What is a Woman Act, which defines man, woman, boy, girl, father, mother, male, female and sex using the terms in the Code of Alabama, received a public hearing in House committee on Wednesday.

Dubose presented House Bill 405 (HB405) to the House Health Committee on Tuesday, pointing to the confirmation hearing of Ketanji Brown Jackson in which she declined to define what a woman is.  

"Who would have thought it would be necessary to define age-old terms such as male, female, mother and father?" Dubose asked. "But when a Supreme Court justice cannot define what a woman is, the time has come to do something."

The bill does not address the modern conception of gender in any fashion. Instead, it intends to prevent one sex from intruding on specific spaces meant for the opposite sex.

"Notwithstanding any state law to the contrary, there are legitimate reasons to distinguish between the sexes with respect to athletics, prisons or other detention facilities, domestic violence shelters, rape crisis centers, locker rooms, bathrooms, and other areas where biology, safety, or privacy are implicated," the bill reads.

Dubose clarified the bill was not meant to deny the rights or existence of transgender people. Instead, it intends to clarify language for specific female-only spaces.

"This bill does not create any special rights for women or create any new rights at all," Dubose continued. "It simply clarifies the meaning of current sex-based laws."

Former State Rep. Patricia Todd, the first openly gay member of the Alabama Legislature, was the first to speak in opposition to the bill.

"My concern about this is that it seems like it's going to set up the gender police," Todd said. "That we're going to determine, well, you look male, so that's okay, but if you really can't tell what gender they are, how are we going to prove what gender you are? So that concerns me."

Multiple transgender individuals also spoke in opposition to the bill.

One transgender biologist, Belle Moyers, claimed the bill does not use a non-technical biological definition of sex.  

"This bill uses an arbitrary aspect of a person's biology to regulate social spaces. It's the government sticking its nose into all of our lives to make them more dangerous and frankly more annoying."

Only one person spoke in favor of the bill, Becky Gerritson, the Executive Director of Eagle Forum of Alabama.

"Alabama must respect scientific truth," Gerritson said. "One of the absolutes in science is the determination of sex at birth. Scientific differences are real. Every cell in the human body is coded with DNA that specifically identifies the sex with an XX or an XY chromosome. Hormones and surgeries do not alter our female or male DNA."

After the meeting, Dubose said she would amend the bill to clarify specific definitions and allow for "unknown" sex determinations for those born with genetic aberrations. Dubose noted there have been five such aberrations in Alabama in the last eight years.

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