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New “Don’t Say Gay” bill would extend through 12th grade

It would extend the state’s prohibition on classroom discussion or instruction of sexual orientation or gender identity.

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A new bill filed by Rep. Mack Butler, R-Gadsden, would extend Alabama’s “Don’t Say Gay” law all the way through high school.

Butler brought similar legislation last session to extend the state’s prohibition on classroom discussion or instruction regarding sexual orientation or gender identity through eighth grade.

Butler decided to extend it through high school after discussing the bill with groups like Moms for Liberty, who he met on a zoom call on Nov. 2.

Butler previously told APR he is bringing the bill to combat “an agenda” in the public school system.

“Parents have lost a lot of say in education; Covid brought a lot of that stuff back front and center,” Butler said. “I just want to give breath and life to the parents’ wishes. Just like with books in the library—nobody wants to ban any books. But your 5-year-old can’t go to R-rated or X-rated movies. This puts the adults back in charge.”

APR asked Butler whether the law would apply to a school asking students to do a book report on a book that featured gay characters.

“I do not think a book report would fall under this,” Butler said. “Gay people have been around since the beginning of time. The new fad is to push people towards this transgender— which I think is probably a fad. If you want to pretend you’re.a woman, have at it, but that doesn’t mean I have to go along with it. There is definitely a difference between men and women.”

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Butler said this bill would protect the innocence of children.

“Most of us feel pretty strongly about protecting our children’s innocence,” Butler said. “Most parents would not like their children exposed to that stuff at early. It keeps the school from making an agenda out of it with assignments.”

The bill also strikes language from the current law that specifies the discussion or instruction is prohibited when it is “in a manner that is not age appropriate or developmentally appropriate for students in accordance with state standards.”

Jacob Holmes is a reporter at the Alabama Political Reporter. You can reach him at [email protected]

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