Missouri House Democrats say Republican-sponsored bills harmful to LGBTQ community

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House Democrats held a news conference on Wednesday with members of the LGBTQ community and their families.  They say Republican-sponsored bills related to sexual orientation and gender identity would harm members of the LGBTQ community.

“Despite 50% of  LGBTQ individuals attempting suicide at some point in their lifetimes, republicans in the legislature decided to file an obscene number, 15 anti-LGBTQ bills this year,” said House Minority Leader Crystal Quade (D-Springfield)

Some of the proposed legislation democrats view as harmful include measures that would require a school athlete to participate on a team that corresponds with their gender at birth.  Supporters have said without the legislation some athletes could have an unfair completive advantage.  Other legislation would allow parents to remove their children from classroom discussions about gender identity.

Corey Hyman is a transgender teen who has concerns about the impact the measures would have on other transgender youth.

“I’m scared for myself and others in my community because if the bills were to go through, it would make a lot people upset and lives would be lost,” he said.

Democrats have proposed their own legislation aimed at protecting the LGBTQ community.  State Rep. Greg Razer (D-Kansas City) is sponsoring HB 1527 which is also known as MONA (Missouri Nondiscrimination Act).  The measure would prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity in employment, housing, banking or public accommodations.  Some opponents have expressed concerns the measure would lead to a mountain of litigation.  Democrats have been pushing for passage of MONA for 22 consecutive years in Missouri.

State Rep. Tracy McCreery (D-Olivette) has filed HB 2283.  It would prohibit what’s known as conversion therapy.  She said being LGBTQ is not something that needs to be fixed.  

State Rep. Martha Stevens (D-Columbia) has filed HB 2153 which would require the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education to partner with LGBTQ advocacy groups to create a curriculum to familiarize students with LGBTQ history and make it available to local schools. 

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