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Hartselle Enquirer

Ivey signs ‘bathroom bill,’ Alabama Vulnerable Child Protection Act 

By Staff Reports  

Gov. Kay Ivey this past Friday signed HB 322 into law.  

Sponsored by Rep. Scott Stadthagen, R-Hartselle, the bill requires children in public schools to use the restroom aligned with the gender on their original birth certificate.  

Members of the Senate added an amendment that mirrors the Florida legislation critics have called the “Don’t Say Gay” law.  

Sen. Shay Shelnutt, R-Trussville, amended the bill before the vote to ban discussions of sexual orientation or gender identity from kindergarten to fifth grade “in a manner that is not age-appropriate or developmentally appropriate for students in accordance with state standards.” In Florida, the law is from kindergarten to third grade.  

“Here in Alabama, men use the men’s room, and ladies use the ladies’ room – it’s really a no-brainer,” Ivey said. “This bill will also ensure our elementary school classrooms remain free from any kind of sex talk.  

“Let me be clear to the media and opponents who like to incorrectly dub this the ‘Don’t Say Gay’ amendment: That is misleading, false and just plain wrong,” Ivey added. “We don’t need to be teaching young children about sex. We are talking about 5-year-olds, for crying out loud. We need to focus on what matters: core instruction, like reading and math.” 

Stadthagen, during the debate, voiced his support for the amendment.  

“I do agree that kids that are in kindergarten to fifth grade should not be introduced to sexual orientation or gender identity,” he said, “and if they are, it should be from their parents.” 

Ivey also signed SB 184, known as the Alabama Vulnerable Child Protection Act.  

House members voted 66-28 for the legislation, which makes it a felony, punishable by up to 10 years in prison, for a doctor to prescribe puberty blockers or hormones or perform surgery for people younger than 19 years old to aid in gender transition.  

“There are very real challenges facing our young people, especially with today’s societal pressures and modern culture. I believe very strongly that if the Good Lord made you a boy, you are a boy, and if he made you a girl, you are a girl,” Ivey said. “We should especially protect our children from these radical, life-altering drugs and surgeries when they are at such a vulnerable stage in life. Instead, let us all focus on helping them to properly develop into the adults God intended them to be.”