As I sit here this morning reflecting on last night’s hearing, I am feeling immense joy, and my heart is overflowing with gratitude. We created change yesterday in Missouri.
These days are rough. The emotional ups and downs are exhausting. The hearing on the Missouri Nondiscrimination Act (MONA) was initially scheduled for noon. At noon, we heard that the House was not going to adjourn until 2:00 PM and the hearing would take place at that time. Then at 2:20 PM, we heard that the hearing would not be done until 5:00 PM. The House was working to pass the budget, understandable of course, but we were left to wait.
When people come to testify, it can be anxiety provoking. The waiting causes more anxiety, but people did it. People waited for hours today for the opportunity to tell their stories. The power to move people forward is in our personal stories. Our elected officials need to hear about the discrimination that LGBT Missourians experience. If they don’t hear about it, then there is less of a reason to do anything about it. Yesterday, our voices empowered people to journey into a new place of understanding. I am so proud of the bravery displayed by the testimony last tonight.
Representatives Tom Hannegan and Greg Razer were true equality champions. It is not easy to get a hearing on MONA. We can go into the politics of how things work here later. Just trust me when I say they WORKED to get this bill to committee and to a hearing. Today, they are going right back in there to keep moving MONA forward. So. Much. Gratitude.
To our champion committee members, Representatives Tracy McCreery, Peter Merideth, Jon Carpenter, Lauren Arthur, and Jean Evans. Thank you for your inquiry and support during the hearing. Your savvy questions really brought forth a riveting and necessary debate.
Representative Crystal Quade thanks for live-tweeting the hearing! Representative Gretchen Bangert, thank you for coming to support. To any elected official or staff member that showed up to support MONA tonight, we are extremely grateful for you.
To all of you, thank you for your support and action. It truly takes all of us to move our humanity forward. Hoping you can join us this Saturday for our annual fundraiser, URBANAIRE!
Follow #MONA18 to track the Missouri Nondiscrimination Act until the end of Missouri Legislative Session in 8 days.