The mission of AFA Action is to inform and mobilize individuals to strengthen the biblical foundations of America.

Important Update: Legislation protecting young girls from bathroom violence

Wednesday, April 6, 2022 1:54 PM

Alabama

Last week we notified you about an important bill (HB 322) before the Alabama Senate Committee on Governmental Affairs that would require students to use bathrooms and changing areas according to biological sex. This is common sense legislation, but reports indicate some Senate Republicans, and even Gov. Kay Ivey (R), are fearful of retaliation from the radical left and corporations like Apple.

Although the bill passed the Senate Governmental Affairs Committee on April 5, HB 322 will next be assigned a place on the Senate’s legislative calendar by the powerful Rules Committee, chaired by Sen. “Jabo” Waggoner (R). If the Rules Committee places the bill at the bottom of the calendar, it will die, and voters will be told the Legislature “ran out of time.” The Legislature only has two working days left, so time is running out, but that would not be a valid excuse if this bill were to die. This is an election year. If this bill does not pass this year, it may not pass next year or the year after, as lawmakers hope voters forget about this issue.

Time is of the essence to contact and encourage, once again, your state senator to remain strong and not cave to liberal pressure from the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) that is trying to kill the bill.

The goal of the bill is to protect the safety and privacy of young girls. The bill’s author warned that in his research, cases of girls getting raped in school bathrooms are “literally spread out throughout the entire state.”

What does this bill do?
HB 322 requires students to use multiple-occupancy bathrooms and changing areas corresponding to biological sex. According to the sponsor of the bill, Rep. Stadthagen, his goal is to protect the safety and privacy of young girls. He also warned that in his research, cases of girls getting raped in school bathrooms are “literally spread out throughout the entire state.” The bill allows single-use facilities to be used by an individual of any sex, accommodating those who demand it. In doing so, HB 322 balances the privacy rights of students when they go to the bathroom against the claims of other students who can use a single-use bathroom.

Will this bill be challenged in court?
Maybe. But it’s a fight worth having. Also, this is a very winnable fight that Alabama should be proud to take the lead on for the rest of the country. Other states are leading – Mississippi and Texas and Florida, for instance – in passing innovative legislation pushing back against the Left’s radical agenda. This is Alabama’s moment to shine. The courts will likely uphold this law. Consider that the full panel of the U.S. 11th Circuit Court of Appeals vacated a 3-judge panel’s rejection of a similar policy by a Florida school district. This means that the full panel very likely believes the Florida policy has merit. Alabama is in the 11th Circuit. Passing this law would send a message to the courts that states need these protections for schoolchildren. 

How does this bill help AL school districts?
In addition to protecting students from sexual assault, this bill will protect school districts from lawsuits. A school district in Virginia is already being sued for failing to protect a young woman from being raped by a “gender fluid” biological male in the girl’s restroom. This bill will create the certainty and clarity needed so that school districts can make the best decisions for student safety. In doing so, it will reduce litigation against schools, saving precious resources for teachers in the classroom.

  • This bill provides protections for students for their safety and personal privacy.
  • This bill requires that if there is a co-ed bathroom or locker room in a public school, it has to be designated as either for girls or boys.
  • This bill allows single-occupancy bathrooms to be used by children of either sex.
  • The 11th Circuit Court of Appeals recently signaled that they are likely to uphold a similar school board policy in Florida. 
  • Tennessee passed a somewhat similar policy last year for businesses.
  • This amendment will not jeopardize federal funding, as that type of punitive policy was tried in 2016 and rescinded by the Department of Justice after less than a year.
  • A lower court (4th Circuit) did strike down a Virginia student privacy bill in 2016. But this amendment takes what the lower court said into consideration. The Supreme Court has not commented upon this issue. And the Virginia legislature, in fact, is now considering a similar bill. So, this issue is ripe for passage.

Time is of the essence to contact and encourage, once again, your state senator to remain strong and not cave to liberal pressure from the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) that is trying to kill the bill.

American Family Association Action (AFA Action), is a non-profit 501©(4) organization dedicated to advancing biblical, family values in society and government by educating and influencing public policy. AFA Action is also the Governmental Affairs Affiliate of American Family Association (AFA).

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Romans 13:1 (NIV)

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- Abraham Lincoln