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The Alabama state legislature has passed a sister bill to Florida’s parental rights law that bans lessons or specific discussion of sexuality and gender identity for children from kindergarten to fifth grade.
The bill, which originally aimed to standardize public school restroom and locker room use by biological sex, was amended to reflect the Florida legislation. The amendment was introduced by state Sen. Shay Shelnutt on Thursday.
“We don’t think it’s appropriate to talk about homosexuality and gender identity in schools, they should be learning about math,” said Shelnutt, according to news outlet AL.com.
“Make no mistake, this legislation is part of a systematic and growing attack on trans people, particularly trans youth, in all aspects of life,” the Alabama chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union said in a statement.
The state Senate passed the amended bill with a 25-5 vote.
“The passage of this bill sends a message to vulnerable transgender youth that they are not welcome or accepted in their communities,” the statement added. “It also exposes school districts and the state to costly litigation and the potential loss of federal funding for education.”
The Florida bill backed by Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis that bans teaching about sexuality and gender theory from kindergarten to third grade is broadly popular despite Democrats’ repeated attempts to label it the “Don’t Say Gay” bill, polls show.
Polls from Morning Consult, Politico, Florida Politics and more show that the Parental Rights in Education bill, which passed the legislature March 8, has solid support, at times even among registered Democrats.
Approximately 52% of Democrat-leaning voters replied that they do not approve such education, with only 36% of those polled voicing support for teaching kindergarten through third-grade classes about sexuality. Twelve percent said that they were not sure.