Mississippi and Alabama are the only two states that jointly celebrate the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee. If a Birmingham lawmaker has his way, this practice will end soon.
State Rep. John Rogers, a Birmingham Democrat, said he plans to introduce legislation to move Lee’s holiday to Confederate Memorial Day, which is held in April.
“A lot of black folks feel like it diminishes Martin Luther King’s day to put it on the same day as Robert E. Lee,” Rogers said, according to The Associated Press.
Instead, Rogers said his legislation would still honor Lee but on a different day. Previous attempts to either eliminate or consolidate Confederate holidays in Alabama have been shot down.
“I think it’s got a fair chance, but I don’t know. It is Alabama,” Rogers said, before joking that neither King nor Lee would be particularly pleased to be sharing a state holiday, according to The Associated Press.
Alabama has three state holidays honoring Confederate figures. In addition to King-Lee Day, the state marks Confederate Memorial Day in April and the birthday of Confederate President Jefferson Davis in June.
Reached for comment, Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey‘s press office said she would review the proposed bill.
“Like the members of the Alabama Legislature, Governor Ivey gives each piece of legislation full consideration. The governor will review the bill as it makes its way through the legislative process,” Ivey spokesman Daniel Sparkman wrote in an email.
The Alabama legislative session begins March 5.
In Mississippi, Democrats also filed legislation looking to end the official state holidays honoring Lee and Confederate Memorial Day. Last week, the Mississippi Department of Revenue received backlash on Twitter for posting a tweet announcing that the office would be closed Monday “in honor of General Robert E. Lee’s birthday and Martin Luther King Jr. Day.” The tweet was later deleted.