ALABAMA: House Kills LGBT Rights Bill
A House committee Wednesday killed a bill that would have banned discrimination against individuals based on their sexual orientation or gender identity. The legislation, sponsored by Rep. Christopher England, D-Tuscaloosa [PHOTO], would have added the classes to state protections against discrimination in employment, housing, accommodations, financial transactions and voting. “I believe in order to protect those classifications, they need to be enumerated,” England told the House Judiciary Committee Wednesday afternoon. “There is some case history that if it’s not enumerated, it’s not protected.” The committee voted to carry it over, killing it for the remainder of the session. Rep. David Faulkner, R-Mountain Brook, who moved to have it carried over, said he “did not want anyone discriminated against,” but said that he had concerns about how the legislation would interact with existing statutes in Alabama. “It’s creating a new protected class that our nation does not recognize, much less Alabama,” he said. “When you are talking about those types of issues, this is much larger than marriage. This is far broader than that.”Rep. Patricia Todd, the state's only openly gay legislator, reacted: "We haven’t passed any bad legislation, and that’s great. Alabama is further ahead than Arkansas, Texas and other states. But now it’s time to move forward with some positive legislation that protects people in the workplace, and that’s what this bill would do."