In the eight years of the Obama administration, LGBT people have gained more freedoms than under any administration ever, so we recognize the uncertainty and fear you may be feeling. But we are here to reassure you that this work will not stop. You may still have questions. What will happen to my family? What will happen to my job or my home? Will I be able to live safely as my true, authentic self? One thing you need not fear for even a moment is our commitment to full equality here at home.
For 30 years, PROMO has been working in the Missouri legislature as your voice and your connection with elected officials, and we are not going anywhere. PROMO will be in Jefferson City building and maintaining relationships with legislators because we know what is at stake. At a statewide level, we are grateful to have friends on both sides of the aisle, and that will not change.
In the meantime, here are some answers to the questions we have been getting the most of since Election Night.
Post-Election Frequently Asked Questions
Is my marriage in jeopardy?
Marriage equality for ALL Missourians is the law of the land. It would be extremely difficult, if not impossible, to roll back marriage equality. As always, we encourage you to visit an attorney to ensure you have taken all the necessary steps to protect your assets. Here is more legal advice on this matter from our friends at Equality Federation. However, we may still see bills filed in Missouri in 2017 connected to marriage, similar to this year’s SJR 39, that would have allowed businesses to refuse wedding services to same-sex couples. While marriage equality is solid, this work is not over.
How can I get involved?
Sign up to volunteer with Team PROMO, we have several volunteer opportunities coming up (especially since Missouri legislative session starts in January). If you’re interested in volunteering with other partner organizations in Missouri, reach out to Kirstin@PROMOonline.org and she can provide you with recommendations.
What can I do right this second?
Make a donation of $20.17 or become a monthly sustainer at $5.00 or more, and we’ll do two things:
1. Add your name to a welcome message to our incoming Governor, reminding him of the importance of remembering LGBT people and families as he enters office.
2. Add your name to thank you messages we’re sending to pro-equality candidates.
My child is LGBTQ and is scared. What are the best steps I can take to help them?
Does your child’s school have a GSA? Check out Missouri GSA, GLSEN Springfield, or GLSEN KC to see if they do. Next, does your area have an LGBTQ youth group, center, or a PFLAG group to help you? Local youth groups in Missouri include Growing American Youth in St. Louis, PRISM in Columbia, Passages in Kansas City, GALAGXY at the GLO Center in Springfield, and Transparent (Springfield & St Louis).
I am an LGBT ally. I want to help. What can I do?
Make your support known by heading to Jefferson City this upcoming session and talking to your legislator, as well as attending events and rallies in your community that support the LGBT community. Continue to be an ally 24/7. Discrimination against the LGBT community does not just occur between 9 and 5. Educate and call out your family, friends, and co-workers at the dinner table, on Facebook, or while you are spending time together. Here is a blog on some of the top five ways you can be an LGBT ally.
I would like to update my name/gender on my Missouri driver’s license. What steps do I need to take to do that?
First, make sure you are in the steps of your transition that you are ready to do so (no matter the results of the election). If you are ready to take that step, follow this link to learn more about updating your name and gender on a number of identity documents. http://www.motransrights.org/id-documents.html Also check out NCTE’s ID documents page for further help and additional info for states other than Missouri.
I was thinking about getting insured under the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare), is it worth my time to still do so?
If you are not already insured (through the ACA or otherwise) or if your insurance is up for renewal, we highly recommend enrolling now. No matter what happens with healthcare options with the incoming administration, your coverage would be secure in 2017 if you enroll during this open enrollment period. Pieces of the Affordable Care Act have greatly impacted LGBT people and families. For more information about enrolling, check out Out 2 Enroll. To learn how a repeal of the Affordable Care Act could impact LGBT people, visit this link. Have more questions about the ACA or want to get insurance, in MO please call 1-800-466-3213.
I am a non-biological parent of my child with my partner. Will my rights as a parent be taken away?
We always encourage every family with same-sex parents to consult with an attorney to ensure both parents are fully protected and understand what your legal rights are. Even if you are both listed on the birth certificate, we always urge you to seek legal counsel for steps like a second parent adoption. Scroll below under legal help for attorneys offering pro-bono work or call our office for suggestions. Also, Lambda Legal is full of resources.
Will I still be able to serve in the military?
LGBT people can serve openly in the military. Experts say that it would be very difficult to roll back the serving openly policy. Check out more information here.
I will be home for the holidays and am afraid to have conversations that can be difficult. Do you have any resources for me?
For a fun video on this topic, watch here! If you’re looking for a lifeline when talking about race at Thanksgiving, check out this incredible texting resource from Showing Up for Racial Justice.
I was verbally or physically assaulted for being LGBT, what should I do?
Contact your local police department to file a report. If you are uncomfortable speaking directly with the police, PROMO staff are always willing to go with you and advocate for you while filing a police report. If you ever believe you need additional help or are not receiving the support you need from your local police department, contact PROMO at 314-862-4900, and we may be able to help you.
Legal Protections in Missouri:
ACLU of Missouri
Cities, Counties, and Municipalities that Have Inclusive Nondiscrimination Policies
Upcoming Name Change Clinics (More to be announced in other areas of the state)
PRO BONO Legal Offerings Right Now
Jake Kohut at Segal, McCambridge, Singer, and Mahoney
Steven Alagna at Bryan Cave: 314-259-2045
Arlene Zarembka: 314-567-6355
Additional recommendations at promoonline.org under “resources.”
Steph joined PROMO as the Southwest Field Organizer in 2008 and was the Deputy Director from 2011-2015. In the fall of 2015, Steph accepted the position of Interim Director of PROMO. In February of 2016 Steph accepted the position of Executive Director of PROMO.
Originally from Overland Park, KS, Steph comes from a large, Jewish family who are also active in their communities. He graduated with a Bachelor's in Sociology and Religious Studies from Missouri State University, where he was active in student organizations and with the administration on campus. Steph now lives in St. Louis with his wife, Amanda. You may contact Steph at Steph@PROMOonline.org.