Press Room

August 25, 2011

Category: Missouri

HRC’s “On the Road to Equality” Nationwide LGBT Bus Tour Comes to Kansas City

Visit Comes as New Polling Shows Strong Support for LGBT Issues

8/25/2011

Washington – The Human Rights Campaign – the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization – is bringing its “On the Road to Equality” bus tour to Kansas City August 25-27.  The tour is crisscrossing the nation, educating the American public and empowering LGBT people to become advocates for themselves and their families. State Senator Jolie Justus and Kansas City Mayor Pro Tem Cindy Circo will join HRC President Joe Solmonese at UM-Kansas City for remarks and an open house on Thursday morning. Press information on the entire “On the Road to Equality” tour can be found online at www.hrc.org/roadtoequality.

“Across the country, hearts and minds are changing in favor of LGBT equality – we’ve seen this on issues from marriage equality to the repeal of ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’,” said HRC President Joe Solmonese. “Missourians and Kansans are no different – our stop in Kansas City will help elevate important efforts already underway, like the construction of the LIKE ME Lighthouse center, and leave LGBT residents feeling empowered and proud.”

The open house at UM-Kansas City will feature an exhibit offering primers on everyday life topics including: your family, your health, your rights, your community, your faith, your workplace and your story. Other activities include a dialogue on the state of equality in the workplace; a fundraiser for the LIKE ME LGBT community center; an event on health equity for LGBT Americans; and an adoption forum that explores the complicated adoption laws same-sex couples face.

In conjunction with the bus tour, HRC released national polling showing support for marriage equality at 51 percent (43 percent in the Midwest and South), in line with other national polls on the issue. Support for non-discrimination protections for LGBT people in employment, housing and public accommodations is strong nationally at 79 percent, as is support for protections against bullying in schools at 73 percent.  Nationally respondents also overwhelmingly say anti-gay discrimination is a problem (79 percent) and anti-transgender discrimination is a problem (74 percent).  Full poll results can be found online at www.hrc.org/EqualityTourPress.

Among the 12 states the “On the Road to Equality” tour will visit, none has a state-wide non-discrimination law including sexual orientation or gender identity.  Additionally, none has any form of state relationship recognition and all have passed discriminatory constitutional amendments to ban marriage for same-sex couples.  Many have laws prohibiting the positive discussion of gays and lesbians in schools and few have safe-schools laws that include LGBT students.  More on the legal landscape in these states is at www.hrc.org/roadtoequality.

The Human Rights Campaign is America’s largest civil rights organization working to achieve lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality. By inspiring and engaging all Americans, HRC strives to end discrimination against LGBT citizens and realize a nation that achieves fundamental fairness and equality for all.

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