ST. LOUIS – St. Louis Mayor Tishaura Jones signed an executive order Thursday in support of transgender residents, outlining several steps the city will take to support the transgender community.
Executive Order No. 77 points to actions taken by state lawmakers, such as restricting access to gender-affirming care and setting new rules for sports competitions, as reasons for the mayor’s action.
“In St. Louis, everyone deserves to thrive, regardless of their gender identity or expression,” said Jones in a statement. “I’ve heard from trans youth and their families who feel like hateful attacks from Jefferson City Republicans will force them to leave our state. This order sends the message that St. Louis will fight to protect our trans community in the face of bigotry.”
The mayor’s office says the executive order will enact more inclusive practices in four ways to protect transgender St. Louisans. Those include:
- Increasing access to information both about gender-affirming care and about how to access gender-affirming care
- Providing more supportive and safe opportunities for trans youth to participate in sports in the City of St. Louis’ recreation centers
- Further ensuring that the functions of City government are supportive and inclusive of transgender residents and the City’s workforce
- Mitigating the economic harm of the recent state legislation by identifying ways to further accommodate transgender individuals and their families through development and business opportunities.
The executive order calls for greater access to accurate information regarding gender-affirming care. It also calls for a summit of health care providers and on others to discuss best practices surrounding gender-affirming care for youth.
The order also prohibits sports programs funded or operated by the city from requiring youth participants to disclose their gender or gender identity as a condition of participation. City sports leagues shall be operated and administered in a manner that is gender-affirming and gender identity inclusive, according to the order. Training on gender identity affirming best practices shall also be provided for the staff of all city-funded and operated recreation centers.
The order also calls on the Board of Public Service to designate at least one bathroom in each building housing city government administration as an all-gender restroom, and to produce a publicly available list of locations for such restrooms.
The mayor’s order also calls for the Personnel Department to review all city benefit policies for gender-affirming and gender identity inclusivity and provide recommendations for any changes or improvements.
Training city employees about gender inclusivity and discrimination is also part of the order along with ensuring services for the aging, unhoused, veterans, youth, families, and those living with disabilities are administered in a gender-affirming and gender identity inclusive way.
The executive order also reaches into the area of economic development, calling for the St. Louis Development Corporation to produce recommendations for ensuring future development projects support gender inclusivity and to look into ways to incentivize support for gender inclusivity.
“All of our children in St. Louis deserve to know that there are still elected leaders out here fighting for them,” said Susan Halla, President of TransParent. “I am grateful to Mayor Jones for instituting these important changes in the face of recent attacks on trans youth from the Missouri legislature. For our trans youth, please know that you are seen and you are loved for who you are.”
According to the mayor’s office, St. Louis’ non-discrimination ordinance forbids discrimination in housing, employment, or public accommodation based on gender identity and expression. Any St. Louis resident who feels they are a victim can file a claim with the Civil Rights Enforcement Agency online or by calling 314-622-3301.