HRC Blog

Non-Discrimination Organizing in Missouri

Post submitted by Kellie Rohrbaugh

Just a few months ago I was simply an HRC and PROMO member—wearing the t-shirts, going to Equality Day and asking people to sign postcards for the Fired for Being Gay campaign.

My home state of Missouri allows discrimination in employment, housing and public accommodation. I have been a community organizer for 15 years in my hometown of Springfield.  Over that time, I have learned the importance of reaching across the aisle, pew and kitchen table to have conversations about issues that affect me.

For nearly a decade, the Missouri Non-Discrimination Act (MONA), has been filed in Jefferson City. For the majority of those years, supporters were the liberals under the dome.  Last year, we made significant progress and  the bill was debated and passed out of the Senate in the final minutes of session. Unfortunately the clock ran out and the House did not have time to consider the bill.

This year, the bill has more bipartisan support. The mood of the country is reflected in Missouri. This is a good time to talk about and do something about equality. I am an organizer for HRC working alongside our great in-state LGBT legislative and activism organization PROMO to help pass MONA before the end of session on May 16.

My work is focused on reaching out to clergy and business leaders across the state in key districts. I have been pleasantly surprised to learn of the strong clergy support of all faith traditions from all over the state. We have large, national corporations as well as small, family-owned business signing on as supporters.

The time has come for Missouri to correct this injustice, and I am so proud to be a part of HRC team.

To get involved, please contact me at kellie.rohrbaugh@hrc.org.

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