St. Louis joins Kansas City in support of transgender care before bill becomes law

(The Center Square) – The day after Republican Missouri Attorney General Andrew Bailey confronted the Kansas City Board of Police Commissioners concerning enforcing pending legislation on transgender medical treatment, Democratic St. Louis Mayor Tishaura Jones signed an executive order promoting communication on the practice.

Bailey sent a letter on Wednesday to the commissioners regarding Senate Bill 49, legislation prohibiting health care providers from prescribing or administering cross-sex hormones or puberty-blocking drugs to a minor for a gender transition.

On May 11, the day after the bill passed in the House and was sent to Republican Gov. Mike Parson for his signature, the city council in Kansas City passed an ordinance declaring it “a safe haven for gender-affirming health care through adoption of a gender-affirming health care policy.” Parson threatened to keep the General Assembly in session or call a special session to complete transgender legislation.

“I write you because the City Council of Kansas City has asked you to do something unprecedented and radical,” Bailey wrote. “… One day after this legislation passed the City Council – in a document filled with false statements – publicly urged you to disregard your duty to enforce this critical legislation.”

Jones countered Bailey’s letter with a three-page executive order promoting “gender-affirming care” information through the city’s health department and mandating city-funded sports leagues and recreation centers be “gender-affirming and gender identity inclusive.”

“In St. Louis, everyone deserves to thrive, regardless of their gender identity or expression,” Jones said 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.”

Jones’ order states the Board of Public Service will designate at least one bathroom in each building housing city government administration as an all-gender restroom and make available a list of the locations of those restrooms.

The order requests recommendations from the St. Louis Development Corporation for future economic projects supporting gender inclusivity. It also asks for the organization to provide ways for the city to incentivize gender inclusivity.

St. Louis’ current non-discrimination ordinance forbids discrimination in housing, employment or public accommodations based on gender identity and expression.

Information from the American Civil Liberties Union found Missouri legislators filed 48 “anti-transgender bills,” second only to the 53 bills filed by Texas on the subject.

“By signing (the) executive order … (Jones) demonstrates our city’s commitment to gender-inclusivity and respect for transgender residents,” Board of Alderman President Megan Green posted on social media. “Promoting gender affirming practices in city operations is the first of many steps we must take to keep our trans community safe.”

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