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As Missouri lawmakers consider a slew of anti-LGBTQ bills, a Kansas City Democrat is fighting back

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A man in a suit and tie holds a piece of paper and speaks into a microphone at a public event.
Tim Bommel
Missouri House Communications
Democratic state Sen. Greg Razer, of Kansas City, is the only openly gay member in the Missouri Senate.

"Why are we legislating something you don't understand?" asked state Sen. Greg Razer.

Nine anti-LGBTQ bills were introduced in Missouri General Assembly committees yesterday — the most heard in one day, public policy and advocacy organization PROMO says.

Three of the bills aim to ban gender-affirming care for transgender kids. Another three propose banning transgender girls and women from playing on sports teams that align with their gender identity. One of the bills proposes making it illegal for drag performances to occur in public spaces.

Democratic state Sen. Greg Razer, of Kansas City, is one of six openly-LGBTQ lawmakers in the Missouri legislature. He says these bills feel personal to him.

“These kids come to my office and I tell them I'm not their friend and I'm not their ally — I'm their family," he says.

According to the American Civil Liberties Union, Missouri has filed more bills that target the LGBTQ community in its 2023 legislative session than any other state.

Razer says the growing momentum behind these bills motivates him to push back even harder.

“I'm ready to stand up for these kids who are being attacked by adults that are in the legislature," he says. "And these adults, when asked, freely admit that they don't understand the issue.”

State Sen. Greg Razer joined KCUR’s Up To Date to share his thoughts on the anti-LGBTQ bills in the Missouri legislature.

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When I host Up To Date each morning at 9, my aim is to engage the community in conversations about the Kansas City area’s challenges, hopes and opportunities. I try to ask the questions that listeners want answered about the day’s most pressing issues and provide a place for residents to engage directly with newsmakers. Reach me at steve@kcur.org or on Twitter @stevekraske.
Claudia Brancart is an Up To Date producer for KCUR 89.3. She graduated from Pitzer College in Los Angeles where she majored in World Literature and Studio Art. You can reach her at claudiab@kcur.org.
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