Alabama lawmakers move transgender treatment, bathroom legislation forward

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By WVUA 23 Digital Reporter Jas Orr

Alabama lawmakers are progressing two bills Democrats are calling anti-transgender. 

The Alabama House of Representatives last month approved a bill that requires public school students to use the bathroom of their assigned sex at birth. Meanwhile, the Alabama Senate approved a health care bill that makes it illegal to provide medical services that alter a minor’s gender presentation, including the use of puberty blockers, hormone replacement therapy or gender-affirming surgeries. Additionally, the bill would require teachers and counselors to inform a student’s parents if the student confides in those adults about feeling different than their assigned gender at birth.

The bathroom bill, HB 322, passed the House 74-24. 

The health care bill, SB 184, passed the Senate 24-6. 

Republican Shay Shelnutt, who proposed the healthcare bill, said that the bill will protect children. 

“We don’t want parents to be abusing their children. We don’t want to make that an option, because that’s what it is: It’s child abuse. This is just to protect children,” Shelnutt said.

The bathroom bill was written with similar intent, with one sponsor, Scott Stadthagen, saying it will protect the “safety and privacy of girls.” 

“I think this is such a commonsense bill,” Rep. Andrew Sorrell said. “I understand and appreciate that you’re trying to protect our daughters.”

Both bills have been met with protests from members of the LGBTQ+ community, who have called the bills deadly for children who are already struggling with their identity. 

“Being a trans kid in Alabama was already hard enough, and it would have been a million times harder if I hadn’t been able to seek out supportive adults, and especially teachers, in my life who wouldn’t out me,” said Huntsville native Mar C. about the health care bill. “Requiring teachers to out students (to their parents) actively puts them in danger, and denying them access to health care takes away their parents’ autonomy to help their children make the best health care decisions they can.”

Both bills are expected to be voted on again this week.

Categories: Local News