BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) – Governor Kay Ivey signed two bills in regard to transgender youth. Both bills have garnered a lot of controversy from the LGBTQ community and activist groups across the state.
House Representative Neil Rafferty gave a passionate speech to the House floor on Thursday before the bills were passed. He believes those forms of legislation are just going to create way more harm than good.
“An assault on decency,” Rafferty said.
“Every single one of them is going to affect somebody that lives in each one of my colleagues’ district,” Rafferty said.
Tish Gotell Faulks with the ACLU considers the legislation passed by Alabama unconstitutional. She says the organization plans to challenge the Governor and these alleged anti-LGBTQ policies.
“To prevent the state of Alabama from interfering in the relationship between trans kids, their parents, and their medical providers,” Faulks said.
Governor Ivey defended her signing with the following statements:
“There are very real challenges facing our young people, especially with today’s societal pressures and modern culture. 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.”
“Here in Alabama, men use the men’s room, and ladies use the ladies’ room – it’s really a no-brainer. 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.”
Rafferty said while these policies are discouraging to the LGBTQ community, he has a message of hope for them.
“I understand that you’re scared. I understand that you feel that you have a target on your back. But I want you to know…..I still got your back, all right?” Rafferty said.
Both Rafferty and Faulks believe there will be more opposition to the bills in the coming days.