Expanded 'Don't say gay' law advances to Alabama House


Alabama state lawmakers on Wednesday advanced legislation that would prohibit classroom discussions or instruction related to gender identity or sexual orientation in public schools through 12th grade, expanding the existing law that extends through 5th grade.

The House Education Policy Committee advanced the legislation, which now heads to the Alabama House of Representatives for a full vote.

The legislation tightens the language of the existing law. The proposal strikes from current legislation the line specifying that such discussions may not be provided “in a manner that is not age or developmentally appropriate or is not in accordance with state standards.”

The advancement of the measure comes amid a wave of similar bills, often referred to as “Don’t Say Gay” bills, have come into focus across the country.

An amendment to the bill also bans the displaying of the Pride flag in classrooms. Teachers are also restricted from displaying any LGBTQ+ signs on the school property.

“No teacher, or other public K-12 employee, may display a flag or other insignia relating to or representing sexual orientation or gender identity in a classroom or on the property of a public K-12 school,” the amendment read.

The sponsor of the bill, Rep. Mack Butler (R) said, The Associated Press reported, “Hopefully, this will send the message that it’s inappropriate for the instructors, the teachers, to teach sexual orientation and gender identity.”

House Minority Leader Anthony Daniels said in a statement reported by the AP that the measure is “almost like bullying to be honest with you.”

“We’re bullying a certain class or group of people because they don’t have the representation to fight back,” Daniels said.

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