The issue of parental rights will again be placed before the Alabama legislature by State Representative Kenneth Paschal, sponsor of House Bill 6. The legislation – which was pre-filed before the legislative session begins March 7 – would establish that parents' rights are "fundamental," not "ordinary." Paschal tells AFN while society has its own definition of "fundamental rights," it was already answered in a court case.
"Our U.S. Supreme Court, since 1923, has repeatedly stated that parents have fundamental rights to direct their kids' upbringing, education and care," he explains. "And 'fundamental rights' means given by God, not the government. So, we should have the highest protection that exists in our code."
The Alabama Supreme Court has ruled in a similar fashion but those rights have never been enacted as law by the legislature. The 21-year Army veteran, who for more than a decade worked with the Alabama Family Rights Association, says the biblical order for families and roles of parents are paramount.
"This [bill] is simply saying that, as a starting point, every parent in the State of Alabama would wake up in the morning knowing that we have legislators who believe in God's order as far as making decisions for the kids," Paschal shares.
"We don't want to be like some of the other states where we have seen the heavy hands of government overreach [and are] making decisions for parents."
Parental rights legislation has been introduced four times in past sessions but didn't seem to gain much traction. Representative Paschal believes his fellow members of the Alabama Republican Party are taking notice and that the situation likely will be different when the legislature convenes in early March.
Paschal is the first black Republican elected to the Alabama Legislature in almost 140 years. He overwhelmingly won a special election in July 2021, campaigning in favor of service to God and country and speaking out against critical race theory. He represents Shelby County, which encompasses several communities southeast of Birmingham.