Your Source for News on LGBT Politics and Issues in Missouri. Thu, 30 Mar 2017 17:24:44 -0500 Joomla! - Open Source Content Management en-gb What Comes Next for the Affordable Care Act and What Does It Mean for You? What Comes Next for the Affordable Care Act and What Does It Mean for You?

For the past seven years, Republican leaders have been united in opposition to the Affordable Care Act (or “Obamacare”) despite the fact that the United States has made significant gains since the law was enacted in 2010.
Uninsured rates are at historic lows
, consumers are satisfied with their marketplace coverage, and the burden of uncompensated care on safety net hospitals and state budgets has been dramatically reduced.

These benefits have been especially important for LGBTQ people. More LGBTQ people than ever before have health insurance. 2017 was the best year EVER for transgender people to get covered. And LGBTQ people are now protected from discrimination in health care simply for being you. This means that your partner or spouse can visit you in the hospital; and doctors, nurses, and other staff should use your correct name and pronoun and admit you to a hospital room or ward based on your gender identity. 

So—we’ve made a lot of progress under the Affordable Care Act! But what comes next, especially for LGBTQ communities? Beyond the scary headlines, partisan Facebook posts, and confusion, what do you really need to know?

First, nothing has changed.

The Affordable Care Act is still the law of the land. If you receive financial help to buy a plan at, that help will still be there and you should keep paying your premiums. (And you can still enroll if you qualify for a “special enrollment period!”)

Even more important, all LGBTQ people are still protected from discrimination in health insurance and health care. Section 1557—the nondiscrimination protection in the Affordable Care Act—is still in place and can’t be repealed by Republicans in Congress (it would take 60 votes in the Senate which is unlikely). This means that you should be respected when using your health insurance or accessing health care.

If you face any discrimination, let PROMO know. PROMO has worked with MO HealthNet and the Missouri Department of Insurance and has identified many LGBTQ-affirming hospitals across the state. You can also let me know at or contact a legal organization to help.

If and when there are changes that affect you, PROMO and Out2Enroll will let you know—in the meantime, get the health care that you need with the confidence that you should be treated fairly.

Second, we are winning but there’s more work to do.

There are many debates happening about the future of our country, both in Missouri and in Washington DC. And we know you’re receiving a lot of requests to step up and take action. So far, those efforts are making a real difference when it comes to health care and protecting Planned Parenthood (one of the largest provider of transgender health care in the United States!).

But we will continue to need your help to protect the Affordable Care Act—and other programs like Medicaid and our friends at Planned Parenthood—that are critical for LGBTQ health. This LGBT Health Awareness Week, join Out2Enroll and PROMO in ensuring that the LGBTQ community is not left behind when it comes to affordable, quality health coverage.

We’ve come too far in LGBTQ health to turn back now.

]]> (Katie Keith) Your Source for News on LGBT Politics and Issues in Missouri. Tue, 28 Mar 2017 15:05:21 -0500
Another Filibuster By Our Equality Champions Another Filibuster By Our Equality Champions

For only the second time in history, the Missouri Nondiscrimination Act (MONA) was debated on the Senate floor last night.

Over the last two days, Senate Democrats have been filibustering Senate Bill 43, a bill that would raise the burden of proof in cases of discrimination, essentially making it more difficult to prove that you've faced unlawful discrimination in the workplace. At a time when division, discrimination, and harassment overall is increasing, this is especially troubling. We have testified against and spoken out about the dangers of this bill throughout legislative session, yet the Missouri Senate continued to move it forward.

During the filibuster of SB 43, Sen. Jill Schupp, one of the "Mighty Eight" Senators who filibustered SJR 39 for 39 hours last year and a true champion for LGBT equality, introduced an amendment to SB 43 with language similar to the Missouri Nondiscrimination Act (MONA).

Because of this amendment, MONA was debated on the Senate floor a second time -- the first being when it passed out of the Senate in 2013. And even though the amendment eventually failed with a vote of 20-10 (8 Democrats and 2 Republicans), having that space to have an open, public discourse about the importance of protecting LGBT Missourians is invaluable.

We know it is only a matter of time (and diligence and hard work) that MONA will be a reality in Missouri. Yet we also know that there is a clear agenda this legislative session to roll back laws that protect people from discrimination already. We will remain vigilant in fighting against these rollbacks.

Our role and our relationships within the Capitol while discriminatory bills are being debated is critical but only a piece of our larger work. As the Missouri Legislature works to make discrimination easier, we will also continue our focus locally, working directly with healthcare providers, social service agencies, and business leaders, to ensure protections, policies, and best practices are in place in your own workplaces and communities.

Every step of the way in fighting these discriminatory measures, we need you. In each conversation about stopping these rollbacks and moving additional protections forward, we need you. In your local communities, we need you.

If you face discrimination at your job, your home, or in a public space, contact us. You have rights, and we can help you identify and navigate those next steps.

]]> (Steph Perkins) Your Source for News on LGBT Politics and Issues in Missouri. Wed, 01 Mar 2017 11:45:43 -0600
Our Executive Director's Statement on Title IX Implementation Our Executive Director's Statement on Title IX Implementation

Last night, the Trump Administration rescinded lifesaving Title IX guidance for transgender students in public schools. While this sends a dangerous message and reinforces an idea that transgender young people are undeserving of legal protection, it does not change the fact that schools are still liable if they discriminate against transgender students. In this same week, the MO Senate Education Committee heard testimony against SB 98, a bill that would proactively restrict bathroom and locker room access for transgender students in Missouri. Regardless of the harmful message these actions send, the law still protects everyone from sex discrimination, including transgender people. And above all, we must reiterate to our communities that transgender students are still worthy, valuable, and deserving of the protection Title IX affords.

Transgender students of Missouri, we see you, we got you, and above all we will NEVER stop fighting for you.

]]> (Steph Perkins) Your Source for News on LGBT Politics and Issues in Missouri. Thu, 23 Feb 2017 12:08:26 -0600
Why Join Us at Equality Day? Why Join Us at Equality Day?

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed people can change the world. Indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” - Margaret Mead

Are you ready? I know you are. There’s a feeling deep inside you that’s calling you to action like never before. That feeling is your conscious. The calling is to resist.

We are at a crucial time in our evolution as human beings. The forces of light and dark are rising up. Never forget that the light will triumph over darkness, and we will be victorious. But it is going to take each and every one of us working against these injustices committed to and by our fellow human beings. I know you are mobilizing. I know you are ready. Come use your voice at Equality Day 2017 with PROMO. Advocating for LGBT equality has never been more important than it is right now. We need your voice. Your story matters in the Missouri state legislature.

Join us on February 14, 2017 and elevate your voice with hundreds of other LGBT Missourians from across the state. Think about that. Hundreds of us. Can you feel it? Feel the power in hundreds of your LGBT MO family and allies ascending upon the Missouri State Capitol with only one action... to SHOW ME LOVE > Hate this Valentine’s Day. Please join us.

Currently, PROMO is tracking more than 14 bills that promote discrimination in our state. LGBT Missourians are not protected under the Missouri Human Rights Act. Several of these bills would undermine the Missouri Human Rights Act, creating more barriers for Missourians to prove they faced discrimination because of their race, national origin, sex, or other protected characteristics. And these same challenges would exist when we are successful at finally protecting LGBT Missourians in the Human Rights Act. Several “bathroom” bills have been filed by both members of the Senate and the House. Religious freedom bills were filed, again, as well, in an attempt to target marriage equality. We are closely monitoring the bills and will continue to keep you updated as the session progresses.

Not all of the legislation filed this session has been anti-LGBT. For the 19th year, PROMO is working with our champions to file the Missouri Nondiscrimination Act (MONA). MONA would provide protections from discrimination by including LGBT Missourians in the Missouri Human Rights Act in employment, housing, and public accommodations. Senator Jill Schupp sponsored MONA in the Senate with every single Democratic Senators co-sponsoring. PROMO is very grateful to have so many champions in the Senate. Representative Randy D. Dunn and Representative Greg Razer sponsored, and Representative Tracy McCreery co-sponsored, MONA in the House. We appreciate the support and the dedication to equality that the members of the Missouri House of Representatives and Senate provide to our community.

Taking time off work can be challenging. Rearranging the care of a child or a parent takes schedule finessing. We understand. The resistance calls us to sacrifice but to also accept our limitations. So, if you can make the schedule work, please come to Equality Day 2017. If you’re unable to come but want to support from afar, you can sponsor another attendee’s registration. We invite you to speak with Missouri elected officials. Let them know about the time you were fired because your boss found out you loved another man. Tell them about the time you were denied access to medical treatment because they didn’t serve “those people” at the hospital you visited. Use your voice as an ally who shares the belief that all citizens deserve to live life free from discrimination no matter who they love or how they identify. If you don’t tell them your story, how will they know there is a problem to solve? Your voice is a necessary vehicle to move the resistance forward.

Changing the world takes time. History shows us that with great wins come great losses. Do not stand by and accept a rollback. ‘Cause we are not going back. Closets are for clothes and boxes are for pizza! We appreciate every march, rally, and action you’ve already attended. And we appreciate your commitment to this long road we share together. PROMO is asking you to join us in making history at the Capitol on February 14, 2017 as we SHOW ME LOVE > Hate.

Who’s in?


]]> (Elizabeth Fuchs) Your Source for News on LGBT Politics and Issues in Missouri. Fri, 10 Feb 2017 14:43:24 -0600
No Hate Shirts Available for Purchase! No Hate Shirts Available for Purchase!
]]> (PROMO) Your Source for News on LGBT Politics and Issues in Missouri. Fri, 10 Feb 2017 13:39:59 -0600
The Missouri Nondiscrimination Act is Introduced In the House & Senate for the 19th Year in a Row The Missouri Nondiscrimination Act is Introduced In the House & Senate for the 19th Year in a Row

For the 19th year in a row the Missouri Nondiscrimination Act (MONA) has been filed in the Missouri House and  Senate. This legislation was first introduced by Steve McLuckie in 1998.

MONA would add sexual orientation and gender identity to Missouri’s Human Rights Act, which currently prohibits discrimination in employment, housing, and public accommodations for other protected categories, including race, sex, and national origin.

The two sponsors of MONA in the House are both openly gay. HB 485 is sponsored by Rep. Randy D. Dunn, and HB 846 is sponsored by Rep. Greg Razer.

“Discrimination based upon someone’s sexual orientation or gender identity is morally wrong. Regardless of one’s beliefs no one should be evicted or fired for who they are or who they love,” concluded Rep. Randy D. Dunn

There are over 1,200 businesses, including multiple Fortune 500 companies, in Missouri that continue to strongly urge the Missouri Legislature to pass the Missouri Nondiscrimination Act.

“This issue isn’t Democratic or Republican – this issue is about fairness. Today, in 2017, right here in Missouri, it is still perfectly legal to fire someone from their job or kick them out of their home simply because they are LGBT. I feel confident that the vast majority of Missourians think that’s simply wrong,” Representative Greg Razer said. “If someone puts in an honest day’s work, they deserve to keep their job and pay their bills, regardless of color of their skin, gender, religion, or who they love. That’s just common decency – and after 19 years of trying, it’s time to get this bill passed.” 

This year’s sponsor of MONA in the Senate, SB 338, is Sen. Jill Schupp. Schupp is not new to being a strong ally to the LGBT community in Missouri. In 2016, she was one of eight Senators to filibuster anti-LGBT SJR 39 for a record 39 hours.

"By sponsoring the Missouri Nondiscrimination Act in the Senate this session, I am sending a message to my colleagues and Missourians everywhere that we will not tolerate hate in this state and that all Missourians, including those who are LGBT, deserve to live free from discrimination, harassment, and bullying. Promoting equality for all Missourians is not only my job. It is the right thing to do,” stated Sen. Jill Schupp.

The co-sponsor the House versions of MONA is Rep. Tracy McCreery, another champion of LGBT equality in Missouri. 

Rep. Tracy McCreery added, "LGBT workplace protections are good for Missouri businesses. MONA's passage would improve work environments and ultimately allow employees to better focus on their jobs."

In 2013, the Missouri Nondiscrimination Act passed in the Senate. 

“All hardworking people -- including those who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender -- should be treated fairly and equally by the laws of our state, and should have the opportunity to earn a living and provide for themselves and their families.” Steph Perkins, Executive Director of PROMO said. “Cities, counties, and countless businesses across the state see the value in protecting and respecting their LGBT employees and citizens, and it is time the Missouri legislature to do the same by passing the Missouri Nondiscrimination Act (MONA)."

Do you support MONA? Fill out the online petition below.

]]> (Katie Stuckenschneider) Your Source for News on LGBT Politics and Issues in Missouri. Thu, 09 Feb 2017 13:41:17 -0600
Six Things You Can Do Right Now Six Things You Can Do Right Now

As a statewide organization, we don’t often get involved in federal or national politics as much as some other organizations. We know that our focus in Jefferson City and in our local communities truly affects the lives of Missourians in meaningful, tangible ways. Like last night, we had the opportunity to spend time with nearly 40 folks in St. Charles County, talking with them about ways to make their communities even more welcoming.

But there is too much at stake right now for us to not be involved in the dangerous actions we are seeing at the federal level. All this week, there have been rumors and leaked drafts of potential anti-LGBT Executive Orders. We are ready to respond quickly to this if it comes to fruition, but in the meantime, we still have lots of work to do.

Because of all of that, you will see us talk even more about the current presidency, some of the nominations, and definitely federal Executive Orders. In some cases, we may ask you to take specific actions to resist, call out, and question.

Here are six things you can do right now:

1. If you haven’t already, fill out this survey and commit to being involved in the coming days, weeks, and months.

2. Call your US Senators and/or fill out this form to voice your concerns against the recent SCOTUS nominee, Neil Gorsuch, who would be a dangerous pick for all of us.

3. Be ready for an anti-LGBT Executive Order. By “be ready,” we mean be ready to resist, be ready to find and give support, and be ready to be open to more information about what an EO would actually mean for you and your family.

4. Join one of the several marches or events happening in your area here.

5. Give a gift to PROMO. One of the things we are most grateful for in this work are opportunities to train and assist health providers, community members, business leaders, and social service agencies in LGBT inclusion and competency. Where this work is successful, nothing -- no EO, no policy, no speech -- can make someone deny services, rights, and dignity to a customer or client.

6. Self care. Right now self care is of the utmost importance. Check out
these tips to stay engaged in the resistance while at the same time taking care of YOU first.

Let me be clear. This does not take away from our critical work at the state level. Do not let what is happening at the national level to distract you from our challenges and successes right here at home. This is the time to dig in and be involved at every level.

Thank you for staying strong through these critical times with us and our coalition partners. We are always staying strong with you.

]]> (Steph Perkins) Your Source for News on LGBT Politics and Issues in Missouri. Thu, 02 Feb 2017 11:48:37 -0600
Resistance Movement Actions Near You Resistance Movement Actions Near You

There is a lot going on Missourians, we feel it is best to put together a large public list of events happening in Missouri. Know of more?



Southwest Region



Date: April 22
Time: 11am-1pm
Where: Downtown Joplin
March for Science

Saint Louis Region


Date: May 12
Time: 2-4pm
Where: Heavy Anchor
Rock and Roll Benefit Show for the International Institute


Date: April 22
Time: 12:30-3pm
Where: 1801 Market Street in St. Louis
March for Science

Date: April 29
Time: 10:00am-12pm
Where: TBD
People's Climate March

General No Hate

Date: April 15
Time: 9am-12pm
Where: Internal Revenue Service
Tax Day March


Transcending the Spectrum: LGBTQIA Art Show
Time: 6pm-10pm
Where: Westminister Press
Date: March 25

Date: March 18
Time: 9am-12pm
Where: Saint Louis City Public Library
Community Processing Session

Kansas City Region


Date: April 22
Time: 10am-2pm
Where: Coming Soon
March for Science


Date: April 23
Time: 1pm-4pm
Where: Meet at Missie B's
LGBTQ Rainbow Ride

General: No Hate

Date: May 1
Time: 6-9pm
Where: TBD
Kansas City May Day Parade

Date: June 11
Time: 1-4pm
Where: To be Determined
National Pride March

Mid-MO Region



Date: April 22
Time: 10am-6pm
Where: Coming Soon
March for Science in Columbia, MO

Date: April 22
Time: 10am-12pm
Where: Downtown Rolla
March for Science in Rolla, MO


Statewide Action


Save the Date: Equality Day on April 19, 2017


More resistance movements thanks to American Progress can be found here.

]]> (PROMO) Your Source for News on LGBT Politics and Issues in Missouri. Thu, 02 Feb 2017 11:21:36 -0600
It Is Critical for PROMO to Have a Presence at the Capitol It Is Critical for PROMO to Have a Presence at the Capitol

“Investigate, Agitate, Legislate”

-National Consumer’s League founded in 1899

This is based on the philosophy that if people are aware of the social inequalities and injustices, they will work to create solutions. At PROMO, we are committed to this philosophy. It is the core of our mission. It is our promise to you, my #MOfam. Are you ready?

For the past few weeks, we have been in the Capitol getting acquainted with our new legislature. Attending the swearing in ceremony for the members of the House of Representatives, the Governor’s inauguration and ball, the State of the State address, and the State of the Judiciary. We’ve met with over 30 members of the Senate and House of Representatives on both sides of the aisle. We’ve made friends with legislative staff, security officers, and librarians. We are building important relationships with attorneys and lobbyists. We’ve testified against two bills that would add more barriers to our ability to prove discrimination in the workplace. All this, and session has just begun.

It is critical for PROMO to have a presence in the Capitol. In the short-term, we are already tracking nearly 15 bills affecting LGBT Missourians, and there are several weeks for more to be filed. In the long-term, building meaningful relationships with decision makers on both sides of the aisle is what PROMO is known for and is a foundational value of the organization.

As we continue to build and maintain these diverse relationships, our champions continue to work hard for us. The Senate Progressive Caucus met this past week, and they determined that LGBT issues are a top priority for them this session. Senator Jill Schupp (Champion and Justice Warrior) is sponsoring the Missouri Nondiscrimination Act (MONA) in the Senate this year. She worked with her colleagues in the Senate, and all eight Democrats in the Senate signed on as co-sponsors. When I spoke with Senate Minority Leader Gina Walsh this week to thank her for supporting MONA, she said to me, “You let me know when you need me.” Missouri, you have people who are working for you. Can you feel it?

Fairness and equality are being threatened here in our state, in our country, and across the world. At this critical time in our history, we need you to be engaged in the movement with us, but please recognize that this is not going to be easy. We are going to lose before we win. The struggle is going to be real and long, but we will make it through this together. Do not disengage. Stay present. Stay informed. Stay connected.

As citizens of the planet, we have a job to do. What is your role in the movement? Earlier this week, we asked you what you were willing to do for LGBT equality, and so many of you have raised your hands to help. If you haven’t already, fill out this survey and tell us how you will be involved in the coming days, weeks, and months.


]]> (Elizabeth Fuchs) Your Source for News on LGBT Politics and Issues in Missouri. Fri, 27 Jan 2017 10:00:55 -0600
Capitol Confessions Capitol Confessions

“Remember you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.” - Harriet Tubman

My friends, we are at week 1 of the 2017 Missouri legislative session, and when I tell you that I am excited, I wish you could also hear me squealing with delight. Last spring, when I accepted this position with PROMO, I had no idea that I would have the opportunity to represent my #MOfam with our elected officials. As PROMO’s lobbyist, I will be in our state capitol doing what I do best...talking and making friends with many, many different kinds of folks.

Now, don’t get me wrong, there is a certain amount of, “Ummmm...what in the heck am I doing?” And, when I realized what my role would entail after a certain event in November, I was a little nervous. However, the very next day I was in Jeff City, at a workshop, doing the work. This was not coincidence. I am exactly where I need to be, and I want to take you with me.

Each week, I will be using this blog to share with you, my #MOfam, what is happening at the Capitol. So many of you have expressed to me your desire to get engaged and become active in the work. By reading this blog and subscribing to PROMO’s other social media platforms, you can stay connected and informed. Being informed by trusted sources is important -- very, very important.

I don’t know what the next five months will hold for the future of LGBT policy in our state, but I do know that PROMO is going to work fiercely to make connections and defeat whatever may come our way. This is why you have an LGBT equality organization, Missouri. So, we can be on the ground, in the Capitol, effecting change.

Stay tuned as I keep you updated from the Capitol on what is happening. Also, save the date for Equality Day which is on February 14 this year. Together let’s #ShowMOlove.

Reaching for the stars starts now.


]]> (Elizabeth Fuchs) Your Source for News on LGBT Politics and Issues in Missouri. Fri, 06 Jan 2017 15:35:58 -0600