MONTGOMERY, Ala. – Alabama voters on Tuesday approved an amendment that will begin the process of deleting racist language from the state constitution.
Amendment 4 called for removing language from the state’s 119-year-old constitution, such as a section requiring segregated schools, AL.com reported. The amendment passed, with 66.8% of the state’s voters approving it, the website reported.
The amendment now goes back to the state Legislature, where the director of the Legislative Services Agency would prepare a recompiled constitution and submit it to the Legislature in 2022. WBRC reported.
Courts have long since struck down the legalized segregation that was part of the 1901 constitution, but language banning mixed-race marriage and allowing poll taxes still remain, ABC News reported.
State Rep. Merika Coleman, D-Birmingham, is the lead sponsor of the bipartisan bill.
“We’ve had a sordid past. We recognize there has been some systemic racism,” Coleman told WBRC. “The world is recognizing now that there has been some systemic racism. I think that we could be a leader around this nation about what we’re going to do in the state of Alabama to show that we believe that all people are equal in our state.”