Americans will be ringing in the 2012 New Year not just with resolutions and champagne, but also with three highly controversial laws in the state of New Hampshire, Alabama, and California.
New Hampshire - Abortion
As of Jan. 1, 2012, minor girls in New Hampshire must notify their parents of their intent to receive an abortion, unless they can prove to a judge that they are emotionally and mentally mature enough to independently make that decision.
As stated on the New Hampshire Liberty Alliance website, the New Parental Notification Law was created with the intent of “protecting minors against their own immaturity, fostering the family structure and preserving it as a viable social unit, and protecting the rights of parents to rear children who are members of their household.”
Alabama - Immigration
Alabama’s controversial immigration law, entitled HB 56 or the Beason-Hammon Alabama Taxpayer and Citizen Protection Act, will come with a key provision at the start of 2012 which requires employers affiliated with government agencies to “E-verify” their employees legal residence in the country.
The law also requires legal proof of residence for many every day transactions, including enrolling a child in school, attaching running water to one’s home, and attaining a driving license.
The bill has been deemed the “strictest immigration law” in the country as it makes it virtually impossible for an illegal immigrant to live in the state of Alabama.
California - LGBT Education
As of 2012, California will be the first state to incorporate the contribution of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Americans into their schools’ social studies curriculum.
When Jerry Brown signed the LGBT curriculum law in July, he released a statement saying: “This bill revises existing laws that prohibit discrimination in education and ensures that the important contributions of Americans from all backgrounds and walks of life are included in our history books.”
The bill proved controversial as many religious and conservative groups argued it was a violation of religious freedom.
As CNN reports, the Rev. Louis Sheldon of the Traditional Values Coalition released a statement condemning the bill, saying: “It is an outrage that Governor Jerry Brown has opened the classroom door for homosexual activists to indoctrinate the minds of California's youth, since no factual materials would be allowed to be presented.”
According to The Associated Press, these three laws address major political and ethical issues of the time, and show that subjects that were once considered taboo for public discussion are now making their way onto state ballots.