Over the past two weeks, Missouri elected officials have witnessed the power of our voices to make change. PROMO, along with dozens of other education and equity centered organizations, have spoken out on bills attempting to ban Critical Race Theory and curriculum centering accurate representations of history. We have witnessed just how powerful our communal voice is. Now is the time to build on our momentum.
This Monday, January 24 at 12:00 pm, HB 1724 (Hudson R-138) will be up for public testimony in the House Higher Education Committee.
HB 1724 aims to undermine public college and university nondiscrimination policies, known as “accept-all-comers” policies, by granting student groups exclusionary practices through exemptions based on their “sincerely held beliefs, sincere practice requirements, or sincere standards of conduct.” Essentially, this bill would allow student groups the right to self-select and limit its members based on protected characteristics such as race, sex, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity, and disability. The opportunity to both join and lead student groups is an essential part of the educational experience. And the Missouri legislature should not support divisive legislation that fosters discrimination in the state’s public institutions of higher education. It should not undermine the power of public institutions of higher education to safeguard their students from discrimination and mandate that student activity fees paid by all students only support those groups that are open to all students.
There are 3 ways we need you to join us:
- Are you a parent, student, student leader, faculty member, collegiate employee? Showing up in-person is critically important. If you’re able to testify in-person, please email Shira@PROMOonline.org, and join us at noon.
- We know too that our current public health environment does not permit safe conditions, and attending might not be an option. Please add your voice by submitting written testimony.
- Call the members of the House Higher Education Committee
Below are sample talking points:
- This bill creates a clear path for government-funded (taxpayer) organizations to discriminate against LGBTQ students on campus from participating in their organizations
- This bill is in violation of nondiscrimination policies Missouri public universities have created for themselves.
- Organizations of any political, religious, or ideological stripe can become recognized groups and access funds provided they adhere to the nondiscrimination policy.
Legislators see PROMO in the Capitol every day, demonstrating the vigilance, persistence, and expertise required to make certain Missouri laws protect and enhance the lives of all LGBTQ Missourians. Continue following PROMO’s legislative tracker to stay current on the opportunities and threats to LGBTQ+ rights in Missouri. Join us with your voice!
Shira Berkowitz, Director