Missouri House Representatives Target LGBTQ+ Students in Public Hearing on March 1

Mar 1, 2023 | Newsroom

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Missouri House Representatives Target LGBTQ+ Students


HB 634, a “Don’t Say Gay” bill, is a direct copy from Florida according to the bill sponsor, Representative Ann Kelley


ST. LOUIS (March 1, 2023) — A public hearing scheduled in the Missouri House Elementary and Secondary Education committee on Wednesday, March 1 at 8 a.m. heard a “Don’t Say Gay” bill that directly affects LGBTQ+ students. House Bill 634, introduced by Rep. Ann Kelley (R-127), bans instruction in all public and charter schools from mentioning gender identity or sexual orientation. Potential consequences that could arise from the “Don’t Say Gay” legislation include teachers being unable to discuss any book that involves LGBTQ+ people or has a romantic relationship within the book, the inability to teach or mention LGBTQ+ history, and the possible spread of bullying and harassment of LGBTQ+ students due to a student being unable to bring that concern to faculty or staff.

PROMO and Missouri Equity Education Partnership released the below statements regarding today’s hearing:

Statement from PROMO

“The bill sponsor of HB 634 showcased an extraordinary lack of historic knowledge around significant individuals such as Harvey Milk and court cases like Obergefell v. Hodges. Her lack of education on these LGBTQ+ subjects is but a small taste of what would happen to a holistic and accurate education for students should her legislation become law.

“It sets a dangerous precedent when we censor school content particularly when politicians do so simply because they find certain topics uncomfortable. We’ve seen throughout history how eliminating certain stories from history impacts society and this is the goal behind these bills — to erase LGBTQ+ students, families, and their collective history from our schools.

“All children deserve an honest and accurate education where they can learn from our past, not dictated by partisan politics and political agendas. Curriculum should be set by educators whose job it is to educate all students so they can learn to think critically and thrive in a safe place.”

Statement from Missouri Equity Education Partnership

“The members of the Missouri Equity Education Partnership stand firmly against HB 634. We, as an organization, strongly oppose the forced outing of students. We believe that all students have the right to privacy and autonomy for their sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression. We affirm that students should be able to make their own decisions about when and how to come out, and that no student should be forced to do so against their will. We believe that the forced outing of students is a violation of their rights and can lead to serious physical and mental health consequences. We stand in solidarity with all students, educational stakeholders, community members, and concerned citizens, and we affirm their right to self-determination and dignity. The Missouri Equity Education Partnership stands with PROMO.”



PROMO is Missouri’s LGBTQ+ policy and advocacy organization that confronts systemic inequities to liberate the full spectrum of the LGBTQ+ community from discrimination and oppression. For more information, visit PROMOonline.org.

About Missouri Equity Education Partnership (MOEEP)

Missouri Equity Education Partnership is a grassroots organization founded in 2021 that promotes equity by supporting anti-bias and anti-racist approaches to education and community. We’re on a mission to create equitable learning opportunities and inclusive environments for all. Join us in creating a more equitable Missouri and visit us at missouriequity.com