Alabama lawmakers have approved legislation banning transgender students from using school bathrooms and locker rooms that match their current gender identify.
This bill will mandate K-12 schools to require students to use facilities that match the sex on their original birth certificate.
According to NPR, the Alabama House of Representatives voted 74-72 in favor of the bill after 2 hours of deliberations. Opponents of the bill claim it targets trans youth, while supporters claim it will address an ongoing issue facing schools. The bill will be moving to the Alabama Senate.
Republican Representative Scott Stadthagen said, “Right now, you’ve got males who are dressing up as females, who are identifying themselves as females, and wanting to use the female bathrooms.” He added that the bill will focus on protecting girls’ privacy and safety.
Democratic Representative Neil Rafferty said, “All you are doing is demonizing an already vulnerable population. It’s all under the guise of protecting children just to win cheap political points. That’s all it is.”
Rafferty added that school in his district of Birmingham have dealt with accommodations for transgender students “without targeting vulnerable youth that are already having issues with suicide, mental illness, bullying.”
Similar bills have been taken to court to be challenged. For example, last year the U.S. Supreme Court rejected a Virginia school board’s appeal to reinstate a transgender bathroom ban.
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