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Alabama’s ties to “Project 2025”

Multiple organizations active in Alabama have signed on as “coalition partners” for Project 2025.

The logo of Project 2025.
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With the Presidential election fast approaching, many eyes have turned to “Project 2025”—a gameplan by the conservative Heritage Foundation for the first 180 days of the Trump presidency.

The group unveiled the Presidential Transition Project on April 2023 with policy objectives that include criminalizing pornography, registering librarians as sex offenders, removing legal protections against discrimination, dismantling the FBI, eliminating the Department of Education and much more.

While the Heritage Foundation has a limited footprint in Alabama, multiple organizations active in Alabama have signed on as “coalition partners” for Project 2025.

The one group unique to Alabama is the Alabama Policy Institute, a right-wing think tank that also spawned 1819 News and the Alabama Center for Law and Liberty.

Eagle Forum and Moms for Liberty are also coalition partners—both of which have chapters active in the state.

Eagle Forum and Moms for Liberty have been two of the major forces in the state pushing to purge LGBTQ+ books and sexually explicit content from minors’ sections in libraries, with 1819 News providing coverage and Laura Clark, interim president of ACLL, rewriting policies at the Autauga-Prattville Public Library to restrict books containing sexual orientation and gender identity.

Eagle Forum, Moms for Liberty and Clean Up Alabama have often repeated that libraries are providing children with “pornography.”

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Heritage Foundation’s “Mandate for Leadership:The Conservative Promise,” lays out the plan to criminalize pornography, lumping “transgender ideology” into that definition.

“Pornography, manifested today in the omnipresent propagation of transgender ideology and sexualization of children, for instance, is not a political Gordian knot inextricably binding up disparate claims about free speech, property rights, sexual liberation, and child welfare,” wrote Heritage Foundation president Kevin Roberts in the foreword. “It has no claim to First Amendment protection. Its purveyors are child predators and misogynistic exploiters of women. Their product is as addictive as any illicit drug and as psychologically destructive as any crime. Pornography should be outlawed. The people who produce and distribute it should be imprisoned. Educators and public librarians who purvey it should be classed as registered sex offenders. And telecommunications and technology firms that facilitate its spread should be shuttered.”

Alabama lawmakers have recently pursued and passed some legislation restricting pornography. Rep. Ben Robbins, R-Sylacauga, sponsored legislation that has now been signed into law that requires pornography websites to verify the ages of users. By July 1, Pornhub will be inaccessible in 12 states—which don’t include Alabama—due to similar legislation passed there. The major porn distributor has blocked access citing liabilities due to age verification laws. Another bill would have required telecommunications companies to enable filters by default, but fell just short of making it out of the Senate.

Lawmakers also attempted to redefine what material is “harmful to minors” to include gender ideology and remove exemptions for librarians so that anyone could file misdemeanor charges against them for shelving a book they thought violated the law.

“The noxious tenets of ‘critical race theory’ and ‘gender ideology’ should be excised from curricula in every public school in the country,” Roberts wrote. “These theories poison our children, who are being taught on the one hand to affirm that the color of their skin fundamentally determines their identity and even their moral status while on the other they are taught to deny the very creatureliness that inheres in being human and consists in accepting the givenness of our nature as men or women.”

The project also includes stripping federal references to diversity, equity and inclusion.

Alabama this year prohibited state funding to be used toward DEI programs as part of a bill that also seeks to keep “divisive concepts” like CRT from being taught in schools. The state also nearly expanded its version of Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” law through eighth grade, but the bill stalled in the Senate. Current law prohibits teacher-led discussion of sexual orientation and gender identity through the fifth grade.

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Project 2025 does much more than just setting policy goals, it seeks to expand executive power to politicize the federal employee base—a move that some experts on both sides of the aisle could strain the separation of powers among the three branches of government.

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

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