A large protest for transgender rights was held on the steps of the Missouri Capitol Wednesday afternoon. The gathering was to protest transgender legislation, which includes proposals to ban transgender athletes from playing female sports and charge medical providers for ‘coercing’ anyone under 18-years-old to undergo a gender transition.

The Missouri Senate has passed Senate Bills 39 and 49. A state House committee could review the proposals soon. Several similar bills have been filed by other Republican lawmakers.

Justice Horn, Chair of the Kansas City LGBTQ Commission was in Jefferson City for the rally.

“This protest was spearheaded by PROMO, the statewide LGBTQ organization and, really built a coalition of not only those impacted but across Missouri who don’t want to see a trans sports ban put in place, who don’t want to see gender affirming care bans. A lot of props to the organizers and, you know, I’m here representing Kansas City, the Kansas City LGBTQ Commission, and ensuring Kansas City is showing up to this fight, too.”

State Sen. Greg Razer, D-Kansas City, who attended the rally, said that there’s a lot of anger and frustration amongst the LGBTQ community.

“Especially amongst transgender Missourians and their family, and frankly if you look at some of these bills, that fear is justified. What last year was just a ban on trans kids playing high school sports, and we were told that it had nothing to do with trans kids, it was just about protecting women’s sports, this year became all about their medical care. If you talk to the senators, they can’t tell you what the medical care is. Yet we passed a law to ban it,” he said.

Razer stressed the importance that the voices of the LGBTQ community gets heard by lawmakers.

“If I’m the parent of a trans kid, I’m concerned, to put it mildly, so I think this is just folks here having their voices heard letting out frustration and meeting with members of the House to tell their story,” said Razer.

On the flipside of that discussion is State Sen. Bill Eigel, R-Weldon Spring, who has stressed that the Republican priority means “protecting children” and putting protections in place to “prevent harm” being caused to kids.

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