LGBT rights in Alabama
|LGBT rights in Alabama|
|Same-sex sexual activity legal?||Legal since 2003
(Lawrence v. Texas) Prior to 2003, illegal, all sexes; misdemeanor punishable by up 1 year imprisonment and $2000 fine
|Discrimination protections||None (see below)|
|Alabama Amendment 774 limits marriage to man/woman, places restrictions on non-marriage types of same-sex unions|
|Adoption||No provision either way|
Although same-sex sexual activity is legal in Alabama, same-sex couples are not eligible for the same protections available to opposite-sex married couples. Several advocacy groups in Alabama actively lobby for equal rights for its LGBT citizens; one of the largest is Equality Alabama. State Rep. Patricia Todd, D-Birmingham, became Alabama's first openly gay public official when she was elected in 2006.
Law regarding same-sex sexual activity
Same-sex sexual activity has been legal in Alabama since 2003, when the United States Supreme Court decision in Lawrence v. Texas struck down all state sodomy laws. The state's sodomy law, although unenforceable, has not been repealed by the Alabama Legislature.
Recognition of same-sex couples
Alabama permits adoption by individuals. State law does not prohibit LGBT person from adopting either singly or as a couple, but no court has ruled in a case that raised the issue.
Hate crimes laws
Since 1994, Alabama has had a hate crimes law applicable to "race, color, religion, national origin, ethnicity, or physical or mental disability." The current law does not apply to crimes committed on account of sexual orientation or gender identity.
On April 24, 2009, State Representative Alvin Holmes introduced HB533, a bill that would have added sexual orientation to the list of hate crime categories. State Representative Patricia Todd, the legislature's first and only openly‐LGBT member, unsuccessfully attempted to add gender identity to the bill but was opposed by Holmes and other legislators. Holmes said he believed that his bill covering only sexual orientation would protect persons victimized as a result of their gender identity. Holmes had introduced identical bills in previous sessions: HB829 (2008), HB247 (2007), HB57 (2006), HB423 (2001), HB85 (2000), and has pushed for the inclusion of sexual orientation in the hate crimes law since at least 1999.
In April 2009, the Alabama House of Representatives passed Holmes' bill by a vote of 46 to 41. The Alabama Senate Judiciary Committee later approved the bill, but the full senate took no action on it before the legislature adjourned on May 15, 2009.
- "Patricia Todd, Alabama's first openly gay state legislator, coming to Huntsville to talk Supreme Court gay marriage rulings | al.com". Blog.al.com. 2013-06-28. Retrieved 2013-11-02.
- Baptist Press: Michael Foust, "Ala. becomes 20th state to pass marriage amendment," June 7, 2006, accessed July 5, 2011
- Human Rightts Campaign: Alabama Adoption Law, accessed July 5, 2011
- "Alabama Hate Crimes Law". Hrc.org. Retrieved 2013-12-05.
- ALISON: Bills Sponsored by Representative Holmes: Regular Session 2009, accessed June 2, 2012
- Birmingham News: Kim Chandler, "House Oks adding sexual orientation to hate crimes law, which now goes to Senate," April 24, 2009, accessed June 2, 2012
- ALISON: Bills Sponsored by Representative Holmes: Regular Session 2008, accessed June 2, 2012
- ALISON: Bills Sponsored by Representative Holmes: Regular Session 2007, accessed June 2, 2012
- ALISON: Bills Sponsored by Representative Holmes: Regular Session 2006, accessed June 2, 2012
- ALISON: Bills Sponsored by Representative Holmes: Regular Session 2001, accessed June 2, 2012
- ALISON: Bills Sponsored by Representative Holmes: Regular Session 2000, accessed June 2, 2012
- Phillip Rawls, "Committee adds sexual orientation to hate crimes," Times Daily (Florence, Alabama), January 17, 2006, accessed June 2, 2012
- The Guardian: "On gay rights, two steps forward, one step back in the Alabama house", accessed June 2, 2012
- Birmingham Weekly: "Alabama pays for Legislature's dead bills," May 21, 2009, accessed June 2, 2012
- ALISON: Session Adjourn / Convene, accessed June 2, 2012
- Human Rights Campaign: Alabama Birth Certificate Law: Gender Identity Issues, accessed July 5, 2011