The 2020 Missouri legislative session has ended.
This was one of the most challenging sessions PROMO has faced. In an unpredictably short session, 19 anti-LGBTQ bills were filed. These bills attempted to roll back marriage equality (undoing the right to marry for all Missourians), attack transgender youth’s access to life-affirming care, bar transgender kids from playing sports, intervene on the rights to form LGBTQ student groups, ban access to library content and programming, and make it harder for Missourians to change the gender marker on their state IDs.
As with many things, COVID-19 cut short the regular session, with fewer bills getting heard in committee or on the House or Senate floor. For those that did, our community’s thoughtful, challenging, and critical testimony on the many anti-LGBTQ bills, led to real impact in stopping them. Voices from our community matter.
The impact of each and every voice in our community, is what successfully stopped these bills.
While the bills may not have advanced, the attacks on our transgender youth did. Legislators found five places in currently proposed legislation to add amendments that would attempt to limit any care for transgender kids, including their mental health access. PROMO, with our allies in both the House and the Senate, rushed into action. Within the final two weeks of session, all harmful language was removed from the bills which moved forward.
Our champion legislators, and notably our four openly LGBTQ legislators, took note of the attacks on LGBTQ Missourians. In the final days, they highlighted the need for the Missouri Nondiscrimination Act (MONA), and the lack of action in promoting the health or safety of our LGBTQ residents.
Rep. Greg Razer (D-25) and Rep. Tom Hannegan (R-65) spoke on the House Floor about the history of the LGBTQ movement. Rep. Hannegan shared his own journey as the only out gay Republican in the entire legislature. Both discussed their disappointment that this is the 22nd year MONA was filed as a bill, and the 22nd year without updating the Missouri Human Rights Statute to include LGBTQ protections. This year MONA was not even heard.
We know this was a hard session for LGBTQ Missourians. We appreciated receiving your calls, hearing your concerns, reading your emails, and meeting you in person at the Capitol. We are tremendously grateful for each one of you. Thank you to all who followed through with our actions, who called, emailed, texted, and spoke out to our elected officials in support of our rights, our kids’ rights, our families’ rights, our community’s rights; your rights.
Your voices make a difference as we persist to make Missouri a safer, more welcoming state for all LGBTQ Missourians to live, work, and raise a family. These attacks may continue next session, and yet, we’ll be better positioned with your help to move the Missouri Nondiscrimination Act forward. We look forward to staying connected with you now, and having you continue to join us in the work towards equality for all.
Manager of Public Policy, PROMO
Please consider giving a gift of $15 thanking Samati for his unyielding efforts in the Capitol everyday this legislative session.