Kansas City Council committee declares KC a ‘safe haven’ for transgender treatments, rejecting a state bill protecting minors

Even as the Missouri House Wednesday passed measured restrictions on transgender treatments for minors, a Kansas City Council committee unanimously passed a resolution promising not to enforce it.

The Save Adolescents from Experimentation (SAFE) Act would prohibit cross-sex hormones and surgeries on minors until 2027, while exempting those already receiving the treatments.

As the House voted to send Senate Bill 49 to Gov. Mike Parson, the Kansas City Council’s Transportation, Infrastructure and Operations Committee was debating a resolution pledging not to enforce the law and to proclaim the city a “safe haven for gender-affirming healthcare.”

The committee approved the resolution unanimously after mostly supportive comments from the council members and public, sending it to the full city council for a vote on Thursday.

Notwithstanding the modern trend of cities and even states declaring themselves “sanctuaries” exempt from selected laws, can Kansas City really nullify a Missouri state law?

“Absolutely not,” Councilwoman Heather Hall told The Heartlander, “because now city prosecutors are telling the city police department, which is run by the state, whether they can or cannot write tickets, or whether their tickets will hold up in court.”

Hall is not a member of the committee, but was allowed to address the issue at the meeting Wednesday in advance of the full council’s deliberations during its meeting at 3 p.m. Thursday.

“I don’t understand why we’re talking about this today,” she told her colleagues. “To me, this is us getting out of our lane and trying to get into some lane we don’t have the expertise for. I don’t see why this is appropriate for this body.”

Councilwoman Andrea Bough, who sponsored the resolution, said she is a “cis woman” who grew up in a conservative religious home in southeast Missouri. But she said her faith has grown, “and I know God is a God of love and not fear – a God of love and not hate.”

Still, a member of the LGBTQ+ community spoke during public comments against the resolution. Chris Barrett, leader of the Gays Against Groomers Missouri Chapter, said he could not support the resolution because it supports transgender treatments for minors.

“If it were just for adults, we probably wouldn’t take any sort of issue with it,” he said of his organization. “But you made this about kids under 18, and that’s where I have a problem with what you’ve done.”

In answer to why a gay man would have a problem with the committee’s resolution, he noted that studies show 80-90% of kids with gender dysphoria grow out of it by the time they’re adults. And of those, he said, “the vast majority are simply gay kids.”

He called transgender treatments for kids a “new form of conversion therapy; before, we tried to pray away the gay, and now people seem hellbent on ‘transing’ the gay away.”

“You need to leave the gay kids alone … free from being permanently medicalized for life. Is that too much to ask of this government?”

Barrett told council members that going up against the LGBT lobby takes courage and invites backlash and even death threats. “Well, welcome to my life. I get those things every day. But ultimately we need to stand up for our children. We need to stop transing the gay kids.”


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