Tuesday, June 18, 2024
Lawmaker demands Archives and History reforms (6 words) Legislator pushes for changes after LGBTQ lecture (8 words)

Lawmaker demands Archives and History reforms (6 words) Legislator pushes for changes after LGBTQ lecture (8 words)

The Bill to Divert State Funds from Alabama Department of Archives and History Fails

A bill aimed at redirecting $5 million in state funds from the Alabama Department of Archives and History, following a one-hour lecture on LGBTQ history, did not pass during the recently concluded special session.

Sponsor Plans to Bring Legislation Next Year

Despite the bill’s failure, the sponsor, Republican Senator Chris Elliott, plans to introduce new legislation next year. According to Elliott, the proposed bill will emphasize the accountability of the Archives and History department to taxpayers and responsiveness to legislators.

Senator Elliott’s Concerns and Proposed Changes

Senator Elliott expressed his belief that the LGBTQ history lecture contradicted the values held by the majority of the people in Alabama. He argued that Archives and History Director Steve Murray should have canceled the lecture following objections raised by Elliott and other lawmakers.

Senator Elliott also mentioned his intention to propose changes to how the Archives and History board of trustees is appointed. He emphasized that the agency should expect greater scrutiny of its budget.

A Response from Archives and History Director Steve Murray

Archives and History Director Steve Murray, in a letter released earlier this month, defended the lecture. Murray asserted that the presentation, titled “Invisible No More: Alabama’s LGBTQ History,” was consistent with the agency’s mandate as outlined in state law. He stated that the lecture aimed to highlight the contributions of LGBTQ Alabamians and explore the history of LGBTQ organizations in the state.

Maigen Sullivan, the co-founder and director of research at the Invisible Histories Project, delivered the lecture. The project focuses on collecting and preserving LGBTQ history in Alabama and the Southeast, making it more accessible.

Outcome of the Bill and Plans for the Future

Although Senator Elliott’s bill did not receive a vote during the special session, it is expected to be reintroduced next year. The regular session will commence on February 6th.

Former Democratic state Representative Patricia Todd of Birmingham criticized Elliott’s proposal, considering it “ridiculous.” Todd, Alabama’s first openly gay lawmaker, currently oversees Alabama Equality, a pro-LGBTQ political action committee.

The Perspective of Former Rep. Patricia Todd

Todd criticized the attempt to selectively choose which aspects of Alabama’s history to discuss. She argued that the LGBTQ community is present in various aspects of society, including schools, families, and faith communities.

Response from Archives and History Director Steve Murray

In response to Elliott’s plans for future legislation, Murray stated that the Alabama Department of Archives and History would provide additional information on its work and be available to answer legislators’ questions during the regular session.

AL.com reporter John Sharp contributed to this article.

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About Thaddeus Tran

Meet the incredible Thaddeus Tran, an esteemed author on our blog with a passion for history and heritage. Thaddeus delivers captivating posts that take readers on a journey through time. With his wealth of knowledge and impressive research skills, he offers valuable insights and fascinating stories that shed light on the past and inspire a deeper appreciation for our shared heritage. Follow him to discover the secrets and treasures of history!

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