Since the beginning of the legislative session, we have been monitoring anti-LGBTQ bills moving outside of Missouri, cautiously anticipating some to move here. At the moment, with 10 anti-LGBTQ bills (subscribe to our watch list), we face an aggressive agenda to restrict the rights and dignity of transgender youth. From banning life-saving health care, the fair chance to be part of a team, and an intended erasure of LGBTQ history in our school curricula, our Missouri legislature is sending a clear message that they believe LGBTQ youth do not belong.
We are preparing to stop four transgender youth athlete bans, HB 1077 and HJR 56 (Burger R-148) and HJR 53 and HB 1045 (Basye R-47).
HJR 56 (Burger R-148) and HJR 53 (Basye R-47) are joint resolutions that call for the placement of a ballot measure in November 2022 to amend the state constitution to require student athletes to participate in sports according to their sex assigned at birth.
PROMO knows that every student deserves a fair chance to succeed in school and prepare for their future — including students who are transgender. The values that athletics bring to a student’s life — teamwork, cooperation, leadership, endurance — are important for every student, especially LGBTQ athletes. We cannot allow the equality and dignity of our transgender youth to be up for a state-wide vote.
We can’t iterate enough that all our voices matter. If your life has been strengthened by being part of a team, you understand how crucial inclusion is for all Missouri youth. Sharing your story NOW, will help us stop these attacks against trans youth.
Making progress in the Missouri Capitol, PROMO joins advocates from the HIV Justice Coalition and lawmakers seeking to modernize our state’s outdated HIV statutes and end the stigma surrounding HIV. Two bills seeking to modernize HIV, HB 755 (Christofanelli R-105) and SB 65 (Rehder R-27), have hearings Monday and Wednesday respectively.
- Missouri law still criminalizes sex between consenting adults when one is living with HIV. The onus is put on people living with HIV to prove that they disclosed their status prior to sex. Even acts that don’t transmit the disease such as spitting are treated as felonies. The law ignores advances in medical science and disincentivizes HIV testing; states with HIV criminal laws do not have lower transmission rates.
- PROMO recognizes that HIV/AIDS disproportionately affects our community. Further, it is our responsibility to recognize that HIV affects LGBTQ Black people and People of Color in our state at even higher rates. While Black men are only 5.5% of Missouri’s population and 35% of People Living with HIV in the state, they account for over half of all HIV crime arrests and convictions.
We need you to join us – This session it is imperative we have opportunities to deliver your voice to lawmakers, given the risks and uncertainty of COVID-19. Take action by sharing your experience as an LGBTQ person in your community, as an LGBTQ parent, as a parent of an LGBTQ child, or an ally.
Stephen Eisele, Executive Director