~ Today, Mayor Tishaura O. Jones of St. Louis signed Executive Order #77, establishing new practices in key City departments to be more inclusive of diverse gender identities. During a roundtable discussion with LGBTQIA+ community leaders, Mayor Jones heard how the anti-transgender laws passed by the Missouri legislature have made them feel unsafe and unwelcome for simply existing.

"In St. Louis, everyone deserves to thrive, regardless of their gender identity or expression," said Mayor Jones. "I've heard from trans youth and their families who feel like hateful attacks from Jefferson City Republicans will force them to leave our state. This order sends the message that St. Louis will fight to protect our trans community in the face of bigotry."

The Executive Order enacts more inclusive practices in four main categories to protect trans St. Louisans, including increasing access to information about gender-affirming care and providing more supportive and safe opportunities for trans youth to participate in sports in the City's recreation centers. It also further ensures that the functions of City government are supportive and inclusive of transgender residents and the City's workforce, as well as mitigating economic harm caused by recent state legislation by identifying ways to further accommodate transgender individuals and their families through development and business opportunities.

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Susan Halla, President of TransParent expressed her gratitude towards Mayor Jones for instituting these important changes in the face of recent attacks on trans youth from the Missouri legislature: "All of our children in St. Louis deserve to know that there are still elected leaders out here fighting for them...For our trans youth, please know that you are seen and you are loved for who you are."

Nearly 500 anti-transgender bills have been introduced nationwide this year targeting schools and libraries, medical providers, school sports leagues and more to prevent them from implementing inclusive practices. Missouri legislators filed 48 different pieces of legislation - the second highest number of anti-trans bills in the country - which include bans on gender affirming healthcare for trans-identifying minors as well as a prohibition on trans athletes playing sports that match their gender identity.

St. Louis' non-discrimination ordinance forbids discrimination in housing, employment or public accommodations based on gender identity or expression; any resident who feels they have faced such discrimination is encouraged to file a claim with the Civil Rights Enforcement Agency (CREA).

Mayor Tishaura O. Jones' Executive Order #77 is an important step towards creating an environment where all members of St Louis' LGBTQIA+ community can feel safe and welcome regardless of their gender identity or expression.

Filed Under: Government, City

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