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Alabama governor signs law banning state funding for DEI in public universities

The bill also requires that students use restrooms in line with their sex rather than gender identity.

Published: March 19, 2024 8:39pm

Updated: March 20, 2024 10:34pm

Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey on Wednesday signed a law barring state funding for diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) programs at public universities and other educational bodies or government agencies.

The state legislature on Tuesday had approved the legislation, which also restricted instruction on certain race and gender-related topics.

“My Administration has and will continue to value Alabama's rich diversity, however, I refuse to allow a few bad actors on college campuses – or wherever else for that matter – to go under the acronym of DEI, using taxpayer funds, to push their liberal political movement counter to what the majority of Alabamians believe,” Ivey said.

Apart from public universities, the funding ban also applies to school boards and government agencies. DEI programs remain permissible on public campuses, however, provided they receive no state funding.

The law also requires that students use restrooms in line with their sex rather than gender identity. Moreover, it bars instruction in "divisive concepts" such as notions of collective guilt based on one's race, religion, or other background characteristic.

The ACLU of Alabama condemned the legislation, saying "[t]his bill is intended to have a chilling effect on discourse regarding race, class, sexuality, and national origin, and seeks to characterize these discussions and accurate teachings, assignments, and trainings that also supplement them as 'divisive,'" according to CNN.

Alabama's move follows similar legislation in Florida last year that saw the Sunshine State deprive DEI initiatives of state taxpayer dollars. Multiple universities in Florida, including the University of Florida, have eliminated DEI programs and positions.

Ben Whedon is an editor and reporter for Just the News. Follow him on X, formerly Twitter.

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