Skip to Content

Area lawmakers react to Parson signing anti-transgender legislation

File photo of Missouri Gov. Mike Parson.
File photo of Missouri Gov. Mike Parson.


Gov. Mike Parson on Wednesday signed a pair of anti-transgender bills, and Missouri lawmakers have been showing support and disdain for the measures.

One bill -- SB39 -- prohibits transgender people from participating in girls and women’s sports. The law applies to elementary, secondary, and postsecondary education institutions, including private schools, public school districts, public charter schools, and private and public colleges and universities.

“We appreciate Senator Holly Rehder for leading on this issue and fighting for women and girls across the state. We, along with the vast majority of the General Assembly, agree that women and girls deserve fair sports competition without intrusion from biological men," Parson said in the release.

The second bill Parson signed was SB49, which bans access to gender-affirming care, such as puberty blockers and hormones to children, who are younger than 18 years old. The bill also prohibits Missouri’s Medicaid program, MO HealthNet, from providing payment for gender transition surgery and puberty blockers.

"We support everyone's right to his or her own pursuit of happiness; however, we must protect children from making life-altering decisions that they could come to regret in adulthood once they have physically and emotionally matured," Parson said in the release.

In support of the signing

Republican lawmakers overwhelmingly showed support for Parson signing the bills. State Sen. Denny Hoskins (R-Warrensburg) was among those who showed support.

“Our student athletes deserve a fair field of play when they participate in school sports,” Hoskins said in a press release. “It is my opinion that it is simply wrong for young women, who may have trained in their respective sports for years, to suddenly be asked to compete against biological men who are bigger, stronger and faster.”

Lt. Gov. Mike Kehoe was brief in his response online, retweeting Parson's post and thanking him.

"Thank you, @GovParsonMO, for signing this important legislation," Kehoe wrote on Twitter.

Attorney Gen. Andrew Bailey also retweeted the governor's post and gave kudos to the state House and Senate.

"I applaud Governor Parson and the legislature for taking action on this issue," Bailey wrote on Twitter. "I’m proud to have called attention to the experimental nature of these procedures and promulgated an emergency rule to protect Missouri's children until the legislature could act."

State Rep. Kurtis Gregory (R-Marshall0 -- who also recently announced a bid for the state senate -- gave praise to SB 39 on his Facebook page.

Rebuttal to the signing

State Democrats criticized the governor’s decision.

“The governor had a chance to protect innocent families who are just trying to live their lives in peace. Instead he chose to persecute them,” State House Minority Leader Crystal Quade (D-Springfield) wrote in a press release on social media. “The governor could have said 'no' to bigotry and hate. Instead he embraced it. History tends to reflect poorly on oppression and the oppressors, and the stain of this action will not wash away”

“Missouri Republicans in the legislature have now given the government new power to control people they’ve never met, over an issue they don’t understand,” Sen. Greg Razer (D-Kansas City) said in a press release. “When these bills expire in four years, I plan on being there to make sure they never come back.”

State Rep. Martha Stevens (D-Columbia) didn’t write anything online, but shared tweets from a number of organizations, including the ACLU of Missouri.

“The anti-trans legislation Gov Parson penned into law will be devastating for trans people of all ages. While the government pushed this deceitful bill behind the guise of protecting children, buried within the law is a ban on health care for adults,” the ACLU of Missouri wrote on Twitter.

PROMO, an LGBTQ+ advocacy organization, also shared displeasure with the governor’s signing.

“After five and a half months of the Missouri General Assembly outright attacking the rights of LGBTQ+ Missourians, it comes as no surprise Gov. Parson chose Pride month, our moment of collective joy, to affirmatively take away our rights. Today, Governor Parson showed just how little Missouri’s state government values LGBTQ+ lives and, in particular, transgender and gender-expansive youth,” Shira Berkowitz, PROMO’s senior director of public policy and advocacy, said in a press release.

Check back for updates to this story.

Article Topic Follows: Missouri Politics

Jump to comments ↓

Ryan Shiner


ABC 17 News is committed to providing a forum for civil and constructive conversation.

Please keep your comments respectful and relevant. You can review our Community Guidelines by clicking here

If you would like to share a story idea, please submit it here.

Skip to content