Alabama lawmakers are trying to win a prize for the most bigoted bills passed in one day, and fine, we will give them the asshole trophy.
Today the Republican-controlled state legislature passed a so-called “bathroom bill” that would ban transgender students in grades K through 12 from using the bathroom and locker room corresponding with their gender identity, a felony ban on doctors providing gender-affirming healthcare to transgender minors, and a so-called “Don’t Say Gay” bill that would prohibit teachers from discussing sexuality in kindergarten through fifth grade. The bills will all go to Governor Kay Ivey (R) for her signature.
The bathroom bill, HB 322, has already passed the House, and the Senate is considered it today. Montgomery Advertiser reporter Brian Lyman said on Twitter that right after the bathroom bill was introduced on the Senate floor, Republican Sen. Shay Shelnutt moved to add a “Don’t Say Gay” amendment to the bill. (Shelnutt is the lead sponsor of the healthcare ban.) Lyman reported that the amendment passed 24 to 6 and the larger bathroom bill passed 26 to 5, sailing right on through. It will now go back to the House for final approval.
The Senate has already passed the health care ban, SB 184, so the House took it up today. It would make providing gender-affirming care like puberty blockers and hormones a class C felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison. That bill could also potentially out trans kids to their parents by forcing schools to report gender non-conformity to parents. The Alabama House passed it by a vote of 66 to 28.
Chase Strangio of the American Civil Liberties Union said on Twitter that the group would challenge all of the bills:
If you’re wondering hmm why no sports ban in this mess of bigotry? That’s because Ivey signed a bill last year to ban transgender girls from paying girls sports at public schools. So don’t worry, they have it all covered.
This post and headline were updated after the bills passed.