Joan Gummels serves as an Assistant Attorney General and worked during the legislative session as liaison to the legislature. Gummels, a lawyer who has worked in public service since graduating from law school, had previously worked in the AG's office under now-Governor Jay Nixon. Her appointment earlier this month represents the fulfillment of a campaign promise by Koster to assure that the rights of LGBT persons would be addressed by the AG's office. Gummels will work with a newly created division dedicated to civil rights and ADA compliance.
A.J. Bockelman, Executive Director of PROMO, applauded Attorney General Koster for his commitment to equal rights of all the citizens of Missouri. "The appointment of Joan Gummels represents a great moment in the state of Missouri. This is the first appointment of a liaison to the LGBT community by a statewide official."
Bockelman added, though, that there is still a long way to go. "The stark reality is that LGBT persons can still be fired or thrown out of their apartments in this state simply because they are LGBT, and it's perfectly legal. PROMO will continue to work for the passage of MONA, the Missouri Non-discrimination Act, in the Missouri General Assembly next session to assure equal protection under the law for LGBT persons and give Assistant Attorney General Gummels a firm foundation to work for equality. PROMO also calls on Assistant AG Gummels former boss, Governor Jay Nixon, to issue an order prohibiting discrimination for Missouri state employees on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity as our peer states like Kentucky, Illinois, Kansas, Iowa, Ohio, and Michigan have already done."
Bockelman concluded, "We appreciate that Chris Koster has appointed Joan Gummels to assure equal treatment for LGBT persons in the state of Missouri. We hope that Governor Nixon will do his part to assure that she has the legal basis to do her job effectively."
For more information and press, contact PROMO at 314.862.4900 or PROMO@PROMOonline.org