SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – A bill banning gender-affirming care for kids now awaits a signature from Governor Mike Parson, as Friday is the last day of the session.
The General Assembly passed the bill preventing kids from taking puberty blockers, hormones, or undergoing surgery, and another measure restricting transgender athletes.
“There is a little bit of a feeling of defeat,” PFLAG Springfield/SWMO President Aaron Schekorra said. “It really feels like very little was done by our state government, except they spent an extreme amount of time going after gay, transgender, queer Missourians.”
On Wednesday, Governor Mike Parson applauded the legislation as a win for the state.
“We have seen people who are making plans to leave the state as a result,” Schekorra said. “But that’s not an option that’s open to everyone.”
Kansas City signed a resolution declaring itself a sanctuary city. That means the city will not prosecute or fine any person or organization that seeks, provides, receives or helps someone receive gender-affirming care.
“It is good that at least there is someplace in Missouri that families can feel safe,” Schekorra said.
Ozarksfirst asked Springfield city leaders if they would consider a similar sanctuary city resolution. City spokesperson Cora Scott said it is not something city council has contemplated. Groups like PLFAG said they will continue working to provide a safe space for the LGBTQ community.
“We have funds available to make mental health care accessible to queer individuals, parents of of queer kids,” Schekorra said. “We also have a therapeutic support group for LGBTQ+ adults and a support group for parents.”
CoxHealth, Springfield’s largest healthcare provider, said it will abide by the law and work with impacted patients.