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Alabama’s First Gay Legislator Teams Up With Republican To Repeal State’s Anti-Gay Sex-Ed Law

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"Alabama’s First Gay Legislator Teams Up With Republican To Repeal State’s Anti-Gay Sex-Ed Law"

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State Rep. Patricia Todd (D)

A bipartisan duo in Alabama will introduce legislation to repeal an antiquated 1992 sex education law, which requires teachers to teach children that homosexuality is illegal and stipulates that “abstinence from sexual intercourse outside of lawful marriage is the expected social standard.” State Rep. Patricia Todd (D) — the state’s first openly-gay legislator — is teaming up with Republican Rep. Mary Sue McClurkin to eliminate the measure:

Teachers must emphasize “that homosexuality is not a lifestyle acceptable to the general public and that homosexual conduct is a criminal offense,” the law states. [...]

The entire 1992 sex education law, however, is reprinted in an appendix to the Course of Study. Malissa Valdes, a spokeswoman for the Alabama Department of Education, said there’s no way of knowing whether schools are observing the letter of that law. “We’re not in the classroom every day, so we don’t know how the Course of Study is implemented everywhere,” she said.

Todd had proposed a bill that would have repealed “the homosexuality-is-illegal wording from the law,” but the measure did not gain traction. She is hopeful that striking the entire 1992 statute, however, could attract the support of more Republicans who oppose state regulation and mandates in education curricula.

Interestingly, McClurkin is a long-time member of the social conservative Eagle Forum, which was “a key proponent of the sex education law when it was passed in 1992.”

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