Breaking Campus News. Launching Media Careers.
Outrage erupts after Alabama Senate OKs bill to ban DEI, and men from women’s bathrooms
Auburn University

A bill that would ban diversity, equity and inclusion offices at Alabama’s colleges and university is one step closer to the governor’s desk, prompting anger among some Democrats and students who have launched a petition, planned protests, and even told athletes to leave the state.

The state Senate last week approved SB 129, which seeks to prohibit public entities from maintaining offices that promote DEI as well as “certain programs related to divisive concepts.”

The bill now heads to the House for potential passage, according to the Alabama Political Reporter.

“The legislation passed on a 26-7 party-line vote after over six hours of discussion,” APR reported. “This bill also targets bathroom use by transgender individuals as it requires each public occupancy restroom at a public institution of higher education to be designated for use based on biological sex.”

The Associated Press reported that “Republican opponents say DEI programs are discriminatory and promote left-wing ideology. Democratic supporters say the programs are necessary for ensuring institutions meet the needs of increasingly diverse student populations.”

The bill came six-plus months after a report found the University of Alabama and Auburn University embrace DEI policies to the detriment of the quality of the schools.

Its advancement has prompted major backlash, including from the African American Mayors Association, which called for athletes to leave the state if it is signed into law.

“Our schools and universities should make it a priority to have offices and departments representative of the diversity of our population and be fair, equitable and inclusive in their hiring and recruitment. This is yet another attempt to deny opportunities to people of color,” the association stated in a news release.

A petition condemning the bill has also been launched, calling it an “imminent threat to education and free speech.”

“SB 129 would prevent the discussion of DEI topics which would greatly impact nearly every field of study, from history and law to psychology and biomedical sciences,” states the petition, which has garnered almost 200 signatures since it was launched Feb. 23.

Students at several Alabama universities have also planned protests for this week, the Crimson White student newspaper reported, with one student saying “we deserve to feel safe.”

But Senate Republicans praised the bill’s advancement.

“We are all made in God’s image, and our unique qualities should be celebrated,” Sen. Greg Reed, president pro tempore, stated in a news release. “However, while we are each unique, we have more that unites us than divides us. Students go to schools to learn and set themselves up for a bright future.”

“Opportunities for togetherness is what this legislation tries to achieve, and I am thankful that all members in the body were able to engage in meaningful ways on this legislation.”

MORE: Report details rampant DEI at Auburn, University of Alabama

Like The College Fix on Facebook / Follow us on Twitter

Please join the conversation about our stories on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Reddit, MeWe, Rumble, Gab, Minds and Gettr.

About the Author
Fix Editor
Jennifer Kabbany is editor-in-chief of The College Fix.