Amidst the battle between the Missouri House and Senate on which versions of the transgender bills get passed during the regular Legislative Session, Gov. Mike Parson told reporters his priority is to make sure they pass the Legislature this year, even if that means calling a special session.

“We have to realize that we have to make sure that we’re one, protecting women and two, we’re protecting our kids,” he explained. “There’s no reason this can’t be defined of how we’re moving forward, and I think both of those bills, we just need to get across the finish line. But look, we’re not going to walk away from this building, and those are two priorities, I think, for most people in this state, whether you’re Democrat and Republican, those are both priorities for the people this state and why I want to see them get it done.”

The bills specifically would ban transgender athletes from playing female sports and charge medical providers for ‘coercing’ anyone under 18-years-old to undergo a gender transition.

“I think they’re, number one, I think there needs to be clarity for everybody to make sure where we’re going to go on this and what we’re dealing with, you know, and I think we’ve got an opportunity to do that,” Parson added. “Look, we’re, by far, not the first state to do this, there’s like 20-plus states out of over half of the United States have done this. So, it’s not like we got to invent anything here, all of these things have already been done. Both states, whether they were Democratic governors or Republican governors, that really didn’t matter, a lotta states have got it done.”

But according to Missouri Senate Leadership, they already focused on and passed this issue weeks ago. Senate President Pro Tem Caleb Rowden, R-Columbia, has repeatedly said that they passed the transgender bills and will not even consider the House’s version, and Senate Minority Leader John Rizzo, D-Independence, concurs.

“I mean, look, the odd man out there is obviously the House,” he told reporters. “The Senate has done its due diligence. It’s done its work, and I would reiterate, extremely hard and difficult work, that we’ve done and I would argue that the Democrats in the Senate have gone as far as we will possibly go. You know, the Governor has said he will sign the bill. The Senate has worked tirelessly to figure out a pathway forward because that was what they were pushing this year.”

State Sen. Greg Razer, D-Kansas City, calls the bills “horrible, hateful, and says they put Missouri on the wrong side of history.”

The transgender issues have become a priority for the Republicans in the Legislature this year and they have just two weeks left until the regular session concludes.

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