COLAGE Executive Director Jordan Budd released the following statement about the hearing of Missouri’s Don’t Say Gay/Trans Bill, SB 134:

On February 7th, 2023, the state of Missouri held a hearing on the most aggressive version of a Don’t Say Gay/Trans Bill in any state to date, Senate Bill (SB) 134. The bill, if passed, would ban all public and charter school faculty, staff, and students across all grade levels from talking about sexual orientation or gender identity. Additionally, the bill prevents faculty, staff, and students from addressing bullying and harassment of LGBTQ+ people and people with one or more LGBTQ+ parent or caregiver (queerspawn). Furthermore, the bill prohibits queerspawn from even speaking about having an LGBTQ+ parent or caregiver. 

This legislation will be detrimental to our community. The bill explicitly bans queerspawn from speaking about or mentioning their families, which we believe is a violation of their civil rights. Queerspawn have always had to be intentional about disclosing information about our families, but this bill eliminates our right to disclose at all. Compounding the issue of disclosure, this bill potentially violates the Title IX rights of all children to be free from associative discrimination. SB 134 is a license to further marginalize the  community, and it must be defeated.

The queerphobia that queerspawn and their families will face in Missouri is the direct (and intended) result of anti-LGBTQ+ rhetoric embedded in Don’t Say Gay/Trans bills. According to the ACLU, there have been more than 260 anti-LGBTQ+ bills introduced this year so far, an increase over last year’s record-breaking number of queerphobic bills. This legislation is an outright attack on the LGBTQ+ community and queerspawn, and COLAGE rejects the passing of this bill wholeheartedly. We encourage members of LGBTQ+ families in Missouri to make their voices heard by contacting their state legislators by clicking here. 

Read more about the Missouri Don’t Say Gay/Trans Bill here from PROMO Missouri. Learn more about COLAGE and our work, and help support us as we continue to provide community and empowerment for people with LGBTQ+ parents/caregivers.