by: KIM CHANDLER, Associated Press, Associated Press
Posted: Apr 29, 2021 / 6:49 am CDTUpdated: April 29, 2021 / 6:49 am CDT
Alabama State Capitol in Montgomery, Alabama.
MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) – Alabama will remove anti-gay language from state sex education law, which would teach students for decades that homosexuality is both socially unacceptable and illegal.
Alabama governor Kay Ivey signed the measure Tuesday after it was approved by Alabama lawmakers.
The bill, sponsored by Rep. Laura Hall, D-Huntsville, removes part of the Sex Education Act of 1992 that provided that sex education programs should “include an emphasis in a factual and public health perspective that not homosexuality is a publicly acceptable lifestyle and homosexual behavior is a criminal offense under the laws of this state. “
Stakeholders, legislators respond to controversial transgender bill
Alabama law will place an emphasis on abstinence in sex education. There will be a new requirement for parents to be notified when sex education or human reproduction is being taught and to request materials.
The measure has been in place for several years but only won final adoption this year.
The Southern Poverty Law Center applauded Ivey for signing the bill.
Families, doctors urge Alabama to oppose the ban on trans-treatment
“Since 1992, state law has mandated that the teaching of sex education teaching in Alabama schools include language that targets the homosexual lifestyle as illegal and immoral. Not only is this language legally imprecise, it also encourages further stigma and isolation among LGBTQ students, ”Shay Farley, regional policy director for the SPLC Action Fund, said in a statement.
The section of the 1992 law describing homosexuality as a criminal offense was a reference to the state’s anti-sodomy law, which has since been declared unconstitutional. The US Supreme Court ruled in 2003 that such laws were an invasion of privacy and unconstitutional.