PROMO Missouri Statement on Denial of Preliminary Injunction for Gender-Affirming Healthcare

Aug 25, 2023 | Newsroom

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The LGBTQ+ public policy and advocacy organization made a statement after a judge denied a preliminary injunction to halt Senate Bill 49 from going into effect 


SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (August 25, 2023) — Judge Steven Russell Ohmer issued a ruling today in the petition filed by the ACLU of Missouri, Lambda Legal, and Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner to halt a Missouri transgender healthcare ban from going into effect. The preliminary injunction against Senate Bill 49, which revokes access to gender-affirming healthcare for some minors and adults, was denied meaning the law will go into effect as scheduled on Monday, August 28. The four-day hearing began in St. Louis on Friday, August 18 and moved to Springfield, Mo., for the remaining three days from Tuesday, August 22 through Thursday, August 24. 

PROMO, Missouri’s LGBTQ+ public policy and advocacy organization, issued the following statement from Aro Royston (he/him), Board Secretary for PROMO Missouri:

“We are enraged — not only has our government and elected officials failed us, but now our justice system has failed to do its job in protecting the most vulnerable of our population. The courts told the transgender community, parents of gender-expansive youth, and the entire LGBTQ+ community that we do not exist, that we do not have the right to make our own medical decisions or the right to bodily autonomy. There is no categorical ban like this in the world making the actions of the Missouri State Government the most egregious in history.

“The rationale was that the “science and medical evidence is conflicting and unclear” even though every major medical association in the United States supports gender-affirming healthcare as the standard of care. We also know that youth who do not have access to this life-saving and medically necessary healthcare are at risk for depression and suicide. I, personally, would not be here without gender-affirming healthcare; quite possibly, I may not even be alive today without it.

“Not one single person who is in favor of this legislation understands how this law truly impacts the transgender community. None of them understand the breath of relief we get to feel when we finally understand who we are and how beautiful it is to be transgender. They cannot fathom the best part of gender-affirming healthcare, which is being able to look into the mirror and see in the reflection the person you always knew yourself to be. Today, you have robbed us of this immense joy and our ability to thrive within this state as our authentic selves.

“As a Black trans man, I want to remind my community there is still hope. I realize this may be an unthinkable situation for us right now, but know that there are a multitude of people who are risking their very lives to make it better including the brave plaintiffs who are fighting for our right to simply exist and be recognized. We are hurting, we are in pain, and we are scared for our very lives. We must channel our rage and pain into collective action because while we may not have won this battle, we will win this war.”

Transgender Missourians needing peer support can reach out to local trans-led organizations such as Metro Trans Umbrella Group (MTUG), The Shades Project, or St. Louis Queer+ Support Helpline (SQSH) in St. Louis, Transformations in Kansas City, and Springfield Transgender and Ally Resource Team (START) in Springfield.