GLAAD Responds to Alabama Senate Passing of Anti-trans Bathroom and Don’t Say LGBTQ Bill, Felony Ban on Gender-Affirming Healthcare

April 7, 2022

GLAAD, the world’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ)  media advocacy organization, is responding to the Alabama senate’s passage of two anti-LGBTQ bills that would prohibit transgender students from using school restrooms and locker rooms that match their gender. The bill, which was introduced by Shay Shelnutt (R-Trussville) passed the state Senate 26 to 5 after being amended to include a 'Don't Say Gay' provision. Due to the amendment, the bill will go back to the Alabama House for a concurrence vote. 

A ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill banning discussions of gender and sexual orientation in elementary schools has already passed in Florida.

An estimated 3.1% of Alabama residents are LGBTQ and 24% of LGBTQ people in Alabama are raising children. 28% of LGBTQ people in Alabama are Black, and 11% are Latinx/Latine. 

Statement from Tish Gotell Faulks, Legal Director of ACLU Alabama:

“By singling out transgender students for discrimination and excluding them from restrooms and locker rooms that match their gender identity, HB 322 discriminates based on transgender status and sex in violation of the United States Constitution and Title IX of the Civil Rights Act,” 

“The passage of this bill sends a message to vulnerable transgender youth that they are not welcome or accepted in their communities. It also exposes school districts and the state to costly litigation and the potential loss of federal funding for education.”

Statement from Serena Sonoma, GLAAD’s Communications Coordinator and Regional Media Lead, U.S. South: 

“Alabama legislatures have decided to sneakily amend an already divisive anti-trans restroom bill to include LGBTQ censorship. This bill brands Alabama land of the 'less free' by harming LGBTQ students and families. To bar discussion of LGBTQ people in school in addition to banning trans and gender-nonconforming youth access to bathrooms that affirm their gender is is an effort to silence and shame, to divide and disrespect trans kids. 

To every LGBTQ child and every LGBTQ parent in Alabama, you do belong and we know that history is on our side. 

Governor Ivey is playing political football with LGBTQ Alabama residents. Other GOP leaders around the country who claim to be LGBTQ allies should be speaking against this 'Don't Say LGBTQ/Restroom bill’, urging Gov. Ivey to veto it, and fighting the tidal wave of anti-LGBTQ legislation around the country.” 

GLAAD has a Guide for Media Covering anti-LGBTQ Legislation here. GLAAD’s guidance for accurate coverage includes recommendations to seek facts from experts in medicine and education over opinions from public figures; to include LGBTQ voices in all stories about LGBTQ issues; include LGBTQ parents and families in discussions about “parents’ rights;” and include context about bills’ impact on vulnerable youth.