This week, again, proved the power of our voices to make change. Together, with our voices combined, we demonstrate to elected officials the powerful community driving our moment. Now is the time to double down and build on our momentum.
PROMO spoke in opposition to two bills this week that would negatively impact our community: HB 334 (Simmons R-109), a strict Voter ID bill, and SB 66 (Brattin R-31), a bill that sanctions violence against protestors. Both bills limit constitutional rights.
Strict photo ID requirements burden more than 200,000 valid Missouri voters who do not have a current state-issued photo ID. These laws disproportionately affect transgender voters, voters of color, low-income voters, and disabled voters. We highlighted the difficulty in obtaining licenses in when documents do not contain matching information – as is the case for many transgender and gender non-conforming Missourians.
SB 66 unnecessarily creates new crimes and enhances existing penalties to directly limit speech. It has often been through marches, protests, and raising our voices, that our community has been able to stand up against violence, persecution, and discrimination.
Two bills we fought against last year have returned. We’re preparing now to ensure we defeat them again in 2021.
HB 33 (Pollock R-123) and SB 442 (Moon R-29) both criminalize life-saving medical care for transgender youth by combining professional penalties for medical care providers with penalties for parents or guardians, including a requirement that they should be reported to Child Services. These bills overlook best practices backed by the American Academy of Pediatrics and other mainstream medical associations, and penalizes healthcare professionals and parents for providing affirming, life-saving care to some of our most vulnerable young people.
These bills enter Missouri follow similar legislation designed to attack transgender youth in Montana. After initially passing the bill through the Montana House, advocates – led by the parents of transgender youth – led to key lawmakers changing their vote and defeating the bill.
Montana proves that your voices matter. We need you to continue sharing your story. Testimony of LGBTQ Missourians is critical this year as in-person meetings become more difficult.
Following the Executive Order signed last week, we gained another big win as the Biden-Harris Administration officially repealed Trump’s harmful and discriminatory ban on transgender service members. This repeal makes it possible for trans people who choose to serve our country are able to do so safely and openly.
Even during the pandemic, legislators hear from PROMO in the Capitol every single day, demonstrating the vigilance, persistence, and expertise required to make certain Missouri laws protect and enhance the lives of all LGBTQ Missourians. We need your help to make sure YOUR voices are heard!
Executive Director, PROMO