South City-based group pushing for equal rights at Mo. state cap - KMOV.com

South City-based group pushing for equal rights at Mo. state capitol

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PROMO is pushing to protect the rights of LGBT people in Missouri. Credit: KMOV PROMO is pushing to protect the rights of LGBT people in Missouri. Credit: KMOV
SOUTH ST. LOUIS (KMOV.com) -

A group in St. Louis is working to protect the rights of LGBT Missourians and their families.

PROMO is a statewide group based in south St. Louis.

One of its goals this year is to get gender identity and sexual orientation added to the state’s Human Right’s Act. This is the twentieth year it’s been proposed to add them.

“It is vital to people who work and live and visit our states to feel protected,” said Steph Perkins, Executive Director of PROMO.

Perkins said LGBT advocates will be traveling to Jefferson City on February 20 for Equality Day to fight against bills they believe are anti-LGBT and to meet with lawmakers.

The five bills PROMO believes are anti-LGBT are as follows:

HB 1755: Requires all public restrooms, other than single-occupancy restrooms, to be gender-divided (sponsored by Representative Jeff Pogue)

Rep. Pogue sent News 4 a statement that said in part “HB 1755 is not designed to be discriminatory. It is meant to protect the dignity of all citizens of Missouri and visitors to this state.”

Pogue adds (in part) that “The culture, not just of Missouri, but of the United States as a society, since the implementation of public restrooms, has been that men (males) and women (females) have separate public restroom facilities. HB 1755 simply states that this should continue to be the norm and that any single use restroom facility may be marked as unisex. The culture, not just of Missouri, but of the United States as a society, since the implementation of public restrooms, has been that men (males) and women (females) have separate public restroom facilities. HB 1755 simply states that this should continue to be the norm and that any single use restroom facility may be marked as unisex.”

HB 1763: Allows a person authorized to solemnize marriages to refuse to solemnize a marriage which is contrary to the religious beliefs or sincerely held moral convictions of such person (sponsored by Rep. Pogue)

HB 1434: Modifies provisions relating to marriage and replaces marriage licenses with contracts of domestic union (Sponsored by Representative T. J. Berry-R)

Rep. Berry told News 4 this is about taking the word “marriage” out of the government since people can’t seem to agree on what it means.

“I get opposition from the religious community and the gay community because both sides want to own the word and that rubs, is what is marriage? and I don't want to have an argument about it,” said Berry. “I want to say if you want government benefits this is how you get them,” said Rep. Berry.

SB 690: Requires that all school shower rooms, locker rooms, and restrooms accessible for use by multiple students shall be designated for and used by male or female students only (Sponsored by Senator Ed Emery)

HB 2074: Prohibits public institutions of higher learning from discriminating against a religious student organization or denying a religious student association any benefit available to any other student association (sponsored by Representative Hannah Kelly)

PROMO said it plans to continue its work in Jefferson City pushing for the rights of all people including LGBT members of the community.

They’re hosting a fundraiser Saturday, January 20 at 6 p.m. at Metropolitan Community Church of Greater St. Louis and then plan their Equality Day in Jefferson City for February 20.

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