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JEFFERSON CITY - Missouri's annual lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) Equality Day - hosted by PROMO, the state's LGBT advocacy organization, will be held on Wed., April 22 at the Missouri State Capitol Building in Jefferson City.
 
According to PROMO, LGBT and ally individuals will meet with and urge elected officials to support legislation protecting LGBT Missourians from employment, housing and public accomodation discrimination, as well as safeguarding all youth from bullying in schools by giving school districts local authority to develop their own anti-bullying policies.
 
"Equality Day is important for many reasons," said Kyle Piccola, Senior Field Organizer for PROMO, via press release. "It provides an avenue for LGBT Missourians and our allies to have a voice in the legislative process, gives a face to why LGBT Missourians need basic employment, housing and public accommodation protections, and most notably, it shifts the minds and hearts of those voting on this very important bill.” 
 
The Missouri Nondiscrimination Act or MONA, PROMO’s perennial legislation introduced since 1998, would add sexual orientation and gender identity to Missouri’s Human Rights Statute, which already protects other categories, including race, biological sex and familial status. 
 
A Missouri Senate panel heard testimony on the legislation (SB 237) in February. A companion bill (HB 407) in the House was heard by the Civil and Criminal Proceedings Committee on April 15. 
 
In 2013, MONA passed through the Senate but failed to reach the House floor. 
 
Organizers describe Equality Day as a unique opportunity to give a voice to the stories that have changed LGBT lives  and can continue to change the lives of others. 
 
The Equality Day rally starts at 10:00am in the 1st floor rotunda and will include remarks made by several state legislators and PROMO staff members. For further information please visit http://promoonline.org/events/equality-day-2015.html. 
 
[Editor's Note]: Equality Day 2015 was originally to be held on Feb. 17, but was rescheduled for April 22 due to inclement weather. Existing Equality Day registrations will be honored for April 22. 
 
 
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