MONTGOMERY (WBMA) — On Friday, Governor Kay Ivey's office announce the governor signed Senate Bill 184, which is also known as the Alabama Vulnerable Child Protection Act, and HB 322 which is commonly referred to as the transgender bathroom bill or the Don't Say Gay bill.
Alabama lawmakers passed both bills Thursday night, sending them to Gov. Ivey's desk and the governor wasted very little time signing them into law.
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The Alabama House of Representatives voted 66-28 for Senate Bill 184 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 to aid in the gender transition of people under age 19.
"There are very real challenges facing our young people, especially with today’s societal pressures and modern culture," Gov. Ivey said in a statement. "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. 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."
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House Bill 322 was approved later in the session by a 70-26 vote. The legislation mandates that K-12 students can only use multiperson bathrooms and locker rooms that correspond with the gender on their original birth certificate, rather than their current gender identity. Republicans in the Senate also added language similar to a law in Florida that critics called the “Don’t Say Gay” measure.
"Here in Alabama, men use the men’s room, and ladies use the ladies’ room – it’s really a no brainer," Gov. Ivey's statement on the bill 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. We don’t need to be teaching young children about sex. We are talking about five-year-olds for crying out loud. We need to focus on what matters – core instruction like reading and math.