Alabama lawmakers propose bills to put limits on drag shows, create ‘What is a Woman’ Act

Published: May. 1, 2023 at 10:55 PM CDT
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Opponents say two newly filed bills in the Alabama legislature target LGBTQ Alabamians.

House Bill 401 calls for a ban on drag shows where minors could be present, like at schools, libraries and other public places.

“Children need to be kept safe from issues that they are not prepared mentally to face,” Rep. Susan Dubose, R-Hoover said about the bill.

Dubose says her concern is that the bill will limit speech or expression.

“As long as this bill specifically protects children, I’m absolutely in favor of that,” Dubose said.

Those against the bill say it’s an attack on freedom of expression.

Josh Coleman with Central Alabama Pride says Alabamians should be able to make their own choices for themselves and their children.

“It should solely be up to the parents. So what they want to allow their kids to attend and see. It definitely feels like this is a step backwards. Not only in progress, but us as Alabamians, to be able to live ourselves freely,” Coleman said.

Dubose has filed a bill labeled the ‘What is a Woman’ Act. House Bill 405 puts into state code the definition of a man, woman, boy and girl. The proposed legislation also requires school districts or state agencies that collect vital statistics to identify individuals as either male or female at birth.

“We’re going to all be friends, but there will be these rare instances when it’s very important to keep biological women separate and safe,” Dubose said.

Dubose says HB405 simply seeks to define male and female by the biological definition. Opponents say the bill targets the trans community.

So far, neither bill is on the committee calendar as of May 1.

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