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Bill to remove anti-LGBT language from sex ed law passes out of committee

Sam Mattison

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By Samuel Mattison
Alabama Political Reporter

A bill that would remove anti-LGBTQ portions of Alabama’s sexual education program passed out of its committee on Wednesday with little resistance from committee members.

The bill’s sponsor state Sen. Tom Whatley, R-Auburn, pushed for the legislation at the committee meeting and answered some questions about the language included in the bill.

Sen. Tom Whatley, R-Auburn, speaks at a committee meeting on Wednesday in favor of the sexual education bill.

Alabama’s sexual education formerly includes the following language in its code:

“An emphasis, in a factual manner and from a public health perspective, that homosexuality is not a lifestyle acceptable to the general public and that homosexual conduct is a criminal offense under the laws of the state.”

If the bill is signed into law, the passage above would be struck from the record.

Other changes to sexual education in the bill include a change to teaching about HIV. Currently, Alabama educational rules use AIDS and HIV interchangeably, but Whatley is pushing for the law to better reflect the modern understanding of the two conditions.

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Among committee members, Whatley’s bill was largely uncontroversial, and passed with a 5-0 vote.

Sex education is not compulsory in Alabama, and this bill would not change that. The bill will now go to the Alabama Senate where it will voted on by all state senators.

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