Less than half of US states teach sex education, but who would have guessed that Alabama would be taking a progressive lead?
Until very recently, Alabama curriculums in much of the state emphasized abstinence-only education and took an outdated approach to LGBTQ topics. Fortunately, new legislation now requires that schools in the state remove inaccurate and stigmatizing language about lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people from their curriculums.
Previous legislation was discriminatory towards LGBTQ individuals and required curriculums to emphasize “that homosexuality is not a lifestyle acceptable to the general public” and “homosexual conduct is a criminal offense under the laws of the state.” This was untrue as the US Supreme Court ruled in 2003 that bans on same-sex activity are unconstitutional and cannot be enforced.
A new bill, signed into law by Governor Kay Ivey, is the first step towards establishing accurate and just sexual education curriculums in the state. Human Rights Watch says: “Lawmakers should continue to develop and implement comprehensive sexuality education that is age-appropriate, scientifically and medically accurate, and responsive to the needs of all young people.”