Alabama lawmakers send two bills limiting transgender youth protections to governor’s desk

Another bill, which requires K-12 students to use bathrooms designated for their biological sex, included a last-minute amendment Thursday that critics compared to similar legislation in Florida called the “Don’t Say Gay” law. It would ban classroom discussions of sexual orientation and gender identity in elementary schools.

The state House of Representatives also passed SB 184, which would make it a class C felony for medical professionals to provide gender-affirming care, such as hormone therapy, puberty blockers, and gender reassignment surgery, to minors. of 18 years.

If Republican Gov. Kay Ivey signs it into law, medical professionals who provide such care could face up to 10 years in prison.

“The decision to pursue a course of hormonal and surgical interventions to address a mismatch between an individual’s gender and sense of identity should not be presented or made for minors who are unable to understand the negative implications and life-course difficulties of attend to these interventions.”, says the bill.

The legislation would also make it a violation for public or private school officials, such as teachers, principals, nurses, and counselors, to encourage a minor to hide from his or her parents or guardians “the fact that the minor’s perception of his or her gender or sex is incompatible with the sex of the minor.

The bill, called the Alabama Vulnerable Children Compassion and Protection Act, passed the Republican-controlled House after a 66-28 vote, according to the state legislature’s website. The GOP-led Senate passed the bill 24-6 in February, and it will become law 30 days after the governor’s signature.

Alabama would be the last state to enact such a measure. Last year, Republican lawmakers in Arkansas overrode a veto by their governor to put their own health care ban on the books, and Tennessee and Arizona have passed similar bans.
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) sued Arkansas over its ban last year, and in July, a federal judge temporarily stopped the state from enforcing the law.

The ACLU, the ACLU of Alabama and other legal advocacy groups announced plans to file a legal challenge to the bill.

“Our representatives have been listening to medical experts, parents, transgender youth, and other advocates for the past three years in an attempt to stop this damaging bill from passing. But despite this strong opposition, the Legislature seems determined to continue.” go ahead with this shameful bill. effort to prevent parents and children from deciding what is the best course of treatment for them,” said Kaitlin Welborn, staff attorney with the ACLU of Alabama. “If the state moves forward in passing this unconstitutional bill, we will see them in the courts”.

sub: Transgender Student Restroom Bill Passed

The legislature later passed a bill that would require K-12 students to use restrooms designated for their biological sex.

HB 322 also includes a late amendment that prohibits classroom discussions or instruction on sexual orientation and gender identity in elementary schools.

An original version of the bill sought to “require K-12 public schools to designate the use of rooms where students may be in various stages of undress on the basis of biological sex.”

Just before the final vote on Thursday afternoon, Republican state senator Shay Shelnutt introduced an amendment that would “prohibit classroom instruction or discussion of sexual orientation or gender identity for students in kindergarten through fifth grade.”

Shelnutt’s amendment also states that schools must not “engage in classroom discussions or provide classroom instruction regarding sexual orientation or gender identity in a manner that is not age or developmentally appropriate.” students according to state standards.

The bill, including Shelnutt’s amendment, passed the state Senate on a 26-5 vote. After the bill was sent back to the House for a vote of concurrence, the amendment was adopted on Thursday night after a 70-26 vote.

The bill now heads to Ivey for final approval, according to Julie Saint, supervisor of enrollment and turnout for the Alabama House of Representatives.

Opponents of the measure condemned its passage, with the ACLU of Alabama saying, “It also invokes legislation similar to Florida’s controversial ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill by banning classroom instruction or discussion of gender identity in public elementary schools. The legislation violates the US Constitution and Title IX of the Civil Rights Act, the ACLU said.

The Human Rights Campaign released a statement Thursday night: “Transgender students will bear the cost of discrimination, discrimination that already makes transgender youth feel unsafe in school, suffer academically and are more likely to drop out of school.” school”.

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