JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – The Missouri Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics (MOAAP), representing over 1,100 pediatricians dedicated to the health, safety and well-being of all infants, children, adolescents, and young adults in Missouri, today called on the Missouri General Assembly to reject SJR 39, a proposed constitutional amendment that would allow private businesses to refuse service to lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) parents and children.

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MOAAP board president, Kenneth Haller, MD, FAAP, issued the following statement: “Whether you are a parent, teacher, coach, or pediatrician, every caring adult knows that our children need to believe, at the most fundamental, spiritual level, that they are wanted, that they are valued, and that their presence in our lives makes our world better. The MOAAP chapter stands with the 60,000 pediatrician member national organization of the American Academy of Pediatrics to condemn laws similar to SJR 39 such as the one recently passed in North Carolina. SJR 39 will be detrimental to kids, both to the children in LGBT families and, also those kids who are themselves LGBT. Studies have shown that the presence of stigma from such discrimination often leads to psychological distress and feelings of disenfranchisement which may be accompanied by an increase in high risk behaviors. One such example is that LGBT kids are more than twice as likely to have considered suicide. Whatever the intent of the proponents of SJR 39, the result for LGBT kids will be to tell them that we, as a state, are considering legalizing discrimination against them and/or their families. We are considering putting a provision in our constitution – indeed, altering our state’s foundation document – specifically to tell LGBT youth and families that businesses are free to refuse to serve you, that there will be nothing you can do about it, that you are worthless.”


“No child deserves this. Missourians are people who love our children," concluded Haller. "Let’s show our children that we in the Show Me State want all our children in every family to be supported, loved, and connected to our society. This is essential to the mental and spiritual health for all our children. We urge our elected officials to reject SJR 39, and let us reject the notion that the health, well-being, and basic humanity of our children should ever be put to a vote.”

 

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