Did You Know Sex-Ed In Alabama Teaches Being Gay is a Crime?

Did you know that Alabama still teaches kids that being gay is an “unacceptable…criminal offense” as part of its sex-education classes? Now, State Rep. Patricia Todd, who is Alabama’s only openly gay lawmaker, is aiming to repeal this archaic and offensive mandate as part of an overhaul of the state’s sex-ed laws.

Todd’s bill would take state legislators out of deciding the sex-ed curriculum and instead allow the state’s department of education to decide on what is appropriate.

Currently, the anti-gay provision in the curriculum is tied to the state’s sexual-misconduct law, which lists so-called “homosexual acts” as a Class A misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in prison. This law was renderedunenforceable due to the 2003 Supreme Court of the United States ruling in Lawrence v. Texas which struck down Texas’ sodomy ban and in turn voided all similar sodomy bans across the country, even though a total of 18 states, like Alabama, have so far refused to scrub away the stain of their homosexuality bans.

The bill would not change the misdemeanor clause but would strip away concurrent language in the sex-education curriculum that says teachers must instruct:

“8. An emphasis, in a factual manner and from a public health perspective, that homosexuality is not a lifestyle acceptable to the general public and that homosexual conduct is a criminal offense under the laws of the state.”

Todd introduced repeal legislation in previous years but it failed to get out of committee. This time, however, she pre-filed for the 2013 session, hoping to drum up support for the bill in advance of legislative talks.

Alabama’s Department of Education has so far resolved not to take a position on the legislation, though it has noted that it acts in accordance with the law, whatever that might be.

Todd’s legislation would also strike at Alabama’s reliance on abstinence-only education, repealing clauses that say teachers must instruct that:

(1) Abstinence from sexual intercourse is the only completely effective protection against unwanted pregnancy, sexually transmitted diseases, and acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) when transmitted sexually.

(2) Abstinence from sexual intercourse outside of lawful marriage is the expected social standard for unmarried school-age persons.

Said Rep. Todd in a comment to AL blogs,”The Department of Education needs to be making those guidelines, not the Legislature.We need to make sure there is evidence-based education being done in the schools, and all the evidence shows that abstinence-only is not effective.”

Chances of the bill being taken up by the Legislature appear slim given the strong religious conservative Republican presence in both the House and the Senate, but if anyone is capable of breaking down the barriers and passing the legislation it would be Rep. Patricia Todd who, after winning her seat on November 8, 2006, found herself shunned by some lawmakers who refused to sit next to her. In 2010, however, and with the support of many of her colleagues, she was named legislator of the year.

The new legislative session begins on February 5.


Related Reading:

No Parent Rights For You and Your Meaningless Marriage

Girl Can Wear Pro-Gay Shirt to School After SPLC Intervenes

U.S. Politician In New Zealand Sperm Donation Scandal

Image Credit: Thinkstock.


Latoya Brookins
Latoya Brookins5 years ago

I respect Christians and other individuals from monotheistic religions that truly believe in their religious texts and think that they are saving sinner's souls and that it is better to be hated than to let that person burn. I do not agree AT ALL (I'm about 65% lesbian) that it is a sin and do think it's rediculous that homosexuality has been highlighted so thoroughly when there are over 600 rules in the Bible. But I understand that they really do believe what they are doing is not personally right, but spiritually and morally right. I get that they believe it is not their place to judge "God's word." That if God said jump out the window and they truly believed it was God saying it, they would do it with the pure belief that there was a reason for it and that even if they didn't know that reason, it was the right thing to do to listen.

What I don't respect is this being taught in schools. School is supposed to be the place where you learn about the legal laws, not this one or several religion's spiritual ones. And it is not even leaving room for an open discussion. They are just saying "this is wrong, don't be it or do it." I supported keeping "God" in the Pledge of Allegience, a moment for prayer, etc. But not this! It's too one-sided and anti. They are not giving backstory on why those rules came into existence, how those societies were versus how ours is, or thinking at all of the emotions of the people who are gay. I would expect better from parochial establishments a

Duane B.
.5 years ago

Thank you for sharing.

Ellie Harman
Ellen Harman5 years ago

Teaching children facts is not allowed, here are some other crazy laws in the state of Alabama:
incestuous marriage is legal, it is considered an offense to open an umbrella on a street, for fear of spooking horses, it is illegal to play dominoes on Sunday, boogers may not be flicked into the wind (real), it is illegal to wear a fake moustach that causes laughter in church, women may not wear a "lewd dress" in public (who's idea of lewd?), no person within the city may possess confetti (Mobile city limits), You can marry at 14 yrs old and then are considered an adult but if you do not get married you are not an adult until you are 19 yrs old, etc.

It's okay to marry your brother but not fall in love someone if they are the same sex, ridiculous!

Beth M.
Beth M6 years ago

Vicky H- Sexual abstinence is NOT the only protection against AIDS. You need to read about the ways that it can be transmitted. Alabama needs to get into 2013.

janice b.
jan b6 years ago

Do they really think it's any of their business ?

Jane H.
Jane H6 years ago

For shame--that is criminal.

Vicky H.
Past Member 6 years ago

Whats so wrong with teaching children this:

Abstinence from sexual intercourse is the only completely effective protection against unwanted pregnancy, sexually transmitted diseases, and acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) when transmitted sexually.

It's TRUE!

Holly Lawrence
Holly Lawrence6 years ago

Surprised? Sadly no ...

Bill C.
Bill C6 years ago

I ask have any of you read Alabama law? I posted it

Law says a heterosexual couple cohabitating are breaking the same laws if they engage in oral sex or sodomy. Law says they do not charge legally married because it gives implied consent, if not its spousal rape.

I dare say the teacher is teahing law and others inject the rest. No where did any teacher say the laws for unmaried sexual contact were any different for gays or straights.

I am in NC wand voted for gay marriage rights which was defeated 49-51 I did not like how the vote turned out but in school I expect facts to be taught.

Dana Pille
Dana Pille6 years ago

These Religious zealots want evryone to believe that Homosexuality is the ONLY abomination listed in the Bible. Truth is, there are many, including those who divorce then remarry are considered Adulterers. Eating crustaceans is considered an abomination. Wearing clothing made up of two different materials is an abomination. If the preachers today began preaching against ALL the abominations people would think they're crazy. People would also realize that we have slowly grown away from some of these beliefs, and the world hasn't ended.