ALLIES: Major midwestern city defies state GOP to defend transgender rights

ALLIES: Major midwestern city defies state GOP to defend transgender rights

Officials from Missouri’s largest city just took steps to protect one of the most endangered segments of our society in today’s political climate, people who identify as transgender.

And the city did so by directly contradicting soon-to-be-enacted state laws.

Kansas City, Missouri, bravely and brazenly, has completed the process of defying the political demands of one of the nation’s most aggressive MAGA state legislatures.

The Paris of the Plains could become the nation’s first trans sanctuary city for people seeking or providing gender-affirming care.

On Thursday, Kansas City council members passed the ordinance. The AP reports:

The resolution… says the city will not prosecute or fine any person or organization that seeks, provides, receives or helps someone receive gender-affirming care such as as puberty blockers, hormones or surgery.

It also says if the state passes a law or resolution that imposes criminal or civil punishments, fines, or professional sanctions in such cases, personnel in Missouri’s largest city will make enforcing those requirements “their lowest priority.”

“Lowest priority,” in effect, means that violations will not be prosecuted.

The decision and the care it could afford could not come at a more important time.

Only one hundred miles down the road in the capitol, Jefferson City, Missouri, the hyper-partisan, Republican-controlled legislature delivered final approval of a bill banning gender-affirming care for transgender minors.

That bill will be sent to Missouri Gov. Mike Parson (R), who is fully expected to sign it into law setting up a clash with Kansas City.

Only two weeks ago, a federal judge temporarily blocked the state’s discriminatory ban on transgender medical care.

Kansas City’s city council’s bravery becomes even more pronounced when juxtaposed with the actions of State Attorney General Andrew Bailey.

Independent of the legislature, Baily filed a motion seeking an emergency judicial decree that would require adults and children to undergo more than a year of therapy and fulfill other requirements before they could receive gender-affirming treatment.

This is, of course, politics and has nothing to do with transgender medical care.

Similar movements are happening in sixteen states. The Kansas City counsel’s actions are about transgender medical care and not determining how a doctor may or may not treat a patient in need.

“It would minimize the legal violence toward trans people in accessing gender-affirming care,” Merrique Jenson, a transgender woman and founder of Transformations KC, told the AP.

Minimize legal violence…

Studies show that Trans teens are already at a shockingly high risk for suicide.

Data indicates that 82% of transgender individuals have considered killing themselves, and 40% have attempted suicide, with suicidality highest among transgender youth.

You will note that Missouri’s law and the judicial order sought by the attorney general would seem to be tailored to specifically heighten the dangers trans teens, and adults, face when it comes to their health.

While Kansas City seeks to “minimize” the legal violence.

And real violence. Transexuals are often targeted as victims of violent outbursts born of hatred.

It is somewhat amazing that Kansas City would become the first to enact such a provision. One would hope that other cities quickly follow suit.

Whatever gaps remain must be reversed at the ballot box and through education. We went down this road with gay people and lesbians, “treatment” for what was once considered a disease, and yet education and tolerance won out.

For now, the state of Missouri is on a mission to harm transgender people.

And Kansas City already plans to rebut the ugly but inevitable consequences.

Correction: This article originally misidentified the Capitol of Missouri as Columbus, it is in fact Jefferson City.

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Jason Miciak

Jason Miciak is an associate editor and opinion writer for Occupy Democrats. He's a Canadian-American who grew up in the Pacific Northwest. He is a trained attorney, but for the last five years, he's devoted his time to writing political news and analysis. He enjoys life on the Gulf Coast as a single dad to a 15-year-old daughter. Hobbies include flower pots, cooking, and doing what his daughter tells him they're doing.