MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WIAT) — A bill defining man and woman in state law had a public hearing Wednesday where several opponents warned of unintended consequences, potentially including where U.S. Space Command is headquartered.
The “What is a Woman Act” defines man and woman and states government entities must use male or female in recording vital statistics.
HB405 defines woman as an adult female, and a female as “an individual whose biological reproductive system is designed to produce ova.” It also includes definitions for man, boy, girl, father, mother, male and sex.
Bill sponsor Rep. Susan DuBose (R-Hoover) said the intent is to codify “common sense and science” into law.
“Common sex-based words are used thousands of times in state law,” DuBose said. “But recently, activists have sought to redefine these words and separate sex from biology.”
DuBose said the bill will protect women in spaces like prisons or domestic violence centers.
“If we don’t codify the definition of common sex-based terms, laws that prohibit sex discrimination will cease to mean anything at all and single-sex private spaces will disappear,” DuBose told members of the House Health Committee.
During the hearing, several transgender people spoke against the bill, saying it will lead to the policing of people’s bodies.
“This bill is big government examining and classifying your body, your wife’s body, your husband’s body and your child’s body,” Belle Moyers said.
They also say it could brand Alabama as unwelcoming for not only transgender people, but possibly the headquarters of the U.S. Space Command.
“The friends I have in the White House run the military and veterans offices in the White House,” said Transgender and Diverse Veterans of America Action Group Executive Director Cassandra Williamson.
Williamson said the White House is watching this bill.
“They want to know if I would recommend that the Space Force move its headquarters to Huntsville,” Williamson said. “So, a vote for this will be something I will notify the White House of, and we will certainly not recommend moving the Space Force here.”
The committee did not vote on the bill yet. There were some amendments added, and it could undergo other changes before a vote in committee next week.
One of those amendments discussed Wednesday allows “unknown” to be an option for a birth certificate in cases when doctors cannot determine a baby’s sex due to a medical condition.