Since the beginning of the legislative session, we have been monitoring and engaging with 14 anti-LGBTQ bills (subscribe to our list). In just the third week of session, Missouri makes headlines with 8 other states rearing an aggressive agenda to restrict the rights and dignity of transgender youth. From banning life-saving medical care, the fair chance to be part of a team, and suggesting state funding should be used to discriminate, our Missouri legislature is sending a clear message that they believe LGBTQ youth do not belong.
We face legislation that criminalizes life-saving medical care for transgender youth by combining professional penalties for medical care providers with penalties for parents or guardians, including a requirement that they be reported to Child Services.
Four bills outline these egregious bans: HB 1721 (Schnelting R-104), HB 2051 (Pollock R-123), HB 2210 (Moon R-157), SB 848 (Eigel R-23).
These bills overlook best practices backed by the American Academy of Pediatrics and other mainstream medical associations, and penalizes healthcare professionals and parents for providing affirming, life-saving care to some of our most vulnerable young people. Parents of transgender children, like most parents, simply want to do what is best for their child-- and that includes working with physicians to ensure that their child has access to necessary medical care. Medical professionals, not politicians, should decide what medical care is in the best interest of a patient.
Our attention is still honed in on SJR 50 (O’Laughlin R-18) and HJR 82 (Ross R-142) which would amend the state constitution to require student-athletes to participate in sports according to their sex assigned at birth.
Two bills that provide religious exemptions to publicly funded agencies allowing them to deny services to LGBTQ people are already moving this week.
HB 1926 (Kelly R-141) would permit religious student groups exclusionary practices through exemptions based on their sincerely held religious beliefs. On Wednesday, January 29, this bill has a public hearing in the House Special Committee on Career Readiness.
HB 2043 (Baker R-160), would allow child placement agencies that receive taxpayer dollars to refuse to place children in a home if the household violates such agency’s “sincerely held religious beliefs.”
Our concern is not whether these organizations or agencies are free to believe and associate as they like; it’s whether they have a right to be funded by your dollars to discriminate.
Thanks to your generous support, legislators see PROMO in the Capitol every single day, demonstrating the vigilance, persistence, and expertise required to make certain Missouri laws protect and enhance the lives of all LGBTQ Missourians. We need you to join us. Take action by telling our legislators LGBTQ youth belong here!