State Rep. Scott Stadthagen (R-Hartselle), the sponsor of House Bill 322, is celebrating its passing in the Alabama Legislature on the last day of the session. The bill instructs public schools to require students to utilize the restroom that corresponds with their biological gender.
Stadthagen said he’s also happy that an amendment to the bill that was offered by State Sen. Shay Shelnutt (R-Trussville) passed as well. The amendment included language that disallows the instruction of sexual orientation and gender identity to students grades K-5 in Alabama public schools
The state representative joined WVNN’s “The Dale Jackson Show” Friday to discuss why his bill was needed in the Yellowhammer State.
“We had problems with males identifying as females and using female bathrooms,” he said. “Well, I view [this bill] as a protection toward female students.”
Stadthagen elaborated on how his bill protected the safety of women in public schools.
“Allowing a man in your bathroom,” he continued, “there’s nothing safe about that. If you put a dress on you’re still a guy.”
He also discussed why he supported the amendment that had language similar to the “Parental Rights in Education” law recently passed in Florida.
“[It’s] common sense,” he explained. “You know we got children that do not need to be exposed to sexual orientation or gender identity to certain people’s views. So I just think both of those is a good piece of legislation.”
Stadthagen responded to critics of the legislation that claim it infringes the rights of those in the LGBTQ community.
“If you read the bill, it doesn’t say the word gay in it at all,” he responded. “It specifically describes sexual orientation or gender identity should not be discussed or taught kindergarten through fifth grade, and I think that’s important.”
He added that there are other laws that exist to protect minors, so this one shouldn’t be controversial.
“We have different ratings for movies because age appropriate what kids are able to see or hear at certain ages,” he explained, “so I don’t think a kindergartener should be hearing any of that nor should a fifth grader.”
The final bill passed the Senate by a vote of 26-5 and was concurred in the House by a vote of 70-26.