LGBT rights in Alabama
|LGBT rights in Alabama|
|Same-sex sexual activity legal status||Legal since June 26, 2003
(Lawrence v. Texas)
|Gender identity/expression||Sex change legal|
|Discrimination protections||None statewide|
|Legal since February 6, 2015
(Strawser v. Strange)
|Adoption||Legal since February 6, 2015
(Strawser v. Strange)
Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) persons in Alabama face legal challenges and discrimination not experienced by non-LGBT residents. LGBT rights in the state are very limited in comparison to other states, with the cities of Montgomery and Birmingham being the only geographical locations that outlaw such discrimination in the state, but it only covers sexual orientation in the public sector of employement.
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 The state's sodomy law, although unenforceable, has not been repealed by the Alabama Legislature.
Alabama has a no promo homo law, which states that “[c]ourse materials and instruction that relate to sexual education or sexually transmitted diseases should include [...] an emphasis, in a factual manner and from a public health perspective, that homosexuality is not a lifestyle acceptable to the general public and that homosexual conduct is a criminal offense under the laws of the state.” (Ala. Code § 16-40A-2)
Child Placing Agency Inclusion Act
Alabama permits adoption by same-sex couples. It is worth noting however that Alabama is one of the few states to have a law protecting the right of faith-based adoption agencies to refuse to place a child with an LGBT individual or same-sex couple. The law was signed by Governor Kay Ivey in May 2017.
Alabama law does not address discrimination based on gender identity or sexual orientation.
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.
HB413 (2016) was sponsored by Todd and Rep. Juandalynn Givan to add protections for sexual orientation and gender identity and HB8 (2017), but neither bill made it to a vote.
Sex Reassignment Surgery
|Same-sex sexual activity legal||(Since June 26, 2003)|
|Equal age of consent|
|Recognition of same-sex marriages||(Since February 9, 2015)|
|Recognition of same-sex couples||(Since February 9, 2015)|
|Step-child adoption by same-sex couples||(Since February 9, 2015)|
|Joint adoption by same-sex couples||(Since February 9, 2015)|
|Right to change legal gender|
|Equal access to IVF|
|Sexual orientation||Gender identity or gender expression|
|Anti-discrimination laws in public employment|
|Anti-discrimination laws in private employment|
|Anti-discrimination laws in the public accommodations|
|Anti-discrimination laws in the housing|
|Anti-discrimination laws in the credit and lending services|
|Hate crime law|
|Ban on conversion therapy|
- "Alabama Code Title 16. Education § 16-40A-2 | FindLaw". Findlaw. Retrieved 2017-06-11.
- "Ivey signs bill allowing denial of LGBG adoptions". Montgomery Advisor. 3 May 2017.
- "Alabama Non-Discrimination Law". Hrc.org. March 9, 2007. Retrieved February 22, 2014.
- "Municipal Equality Index" (PDF). Human Rights Campaign. Retrieved November 21, 2013.
- "Birmingham makes discrimination a criminal offense". al.com. 2017-09-26.
- "Alabama Hate Crimes Law". Hrc.org. Retrieved December 5, 2013.
- 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
- "Sec. 22-9A-19. Amendment of vital records". Code of Alabama. Retrieved 2017-08-17.