What happens when the law a state used to justify requiring an anti-gay sex education curriculum is struck down in court? Alabama is about to find out.
In some states, including Alabama, state sex education policies require educators to teach exclusively about heterosexual sex or to advise against even consensual forms of gay sex. While groups like the Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States criticize the state policies as harmful and discriminatory toward LGBT students, the conservative states defend their policies, often citing bans on oral and anal sex in their state laws.
Among other things, Alabama’s sex education law requires that “any program or curriculum in the public schools in Alabama that includes sex education or the human reproductive process” shall 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.”
But ‘homosexual conduct’ is no longer a criminal offense in the state after an appeals court ruled in June that Alabama’s law banning consensual anal and oral sex is unconstitutional, theMontgomery Press-Register reported. That decision is causing state officials to re-examine Alabama’s sex education policy, the Press-Register reported. The paper surveyed several school districts and found that they either didn’t teach sex education courses, didn’t address homosexuality at all, or fully stressed abstinence from all forms of sex.