MO Don’t Say Gay Bill

Missouri lawmakers propose bills that would censor talk of sexuality and gender identity in schools


Battle student makes button to display pronouns during a GSA meeting. Photo by Anne Borgmeyer.

Jackie Ozanich, Managing Editor

Senator Mike Moon has proposed the “Vulnerable Child Compassion and Protection Act” or SB134, which is the most extreme “Don’t Say Gay Bill” yet, which would ban any and all discussion of gender identity or LGBTQ+ for all grades K-12, unlike Florida’s infamous “Don’t Say Gay Bill” which only banned it for students before the third grade.
The bill would go into effect Aug. 28, 2023 and aims “to allow mental health professionals to counsel students instead of staff members who may not be trained properly,” Mike Moon said, according to The Kansas City Star. Many students see this bill as a way to suppress LGTBQ+ members and ideals.
“He’s just doing something trendy to be politically relevant,” Finnegan, senior, said.
Missouri Republican Rep. Ann Kelley introduced a similar bill, House Bill 634, to the House of Representatives, which bans the discussion of the same topics for all grades and adds an extra portion, where any changes in a student’s mental and emotional health including gender identity and sexual orientation, forcibly outing students to their parents. Only two people testified in favor, and many others laughed at the bill in response.
If these laws were to go into effect, it would censor students personalities and take away their rights to be themselves.
“Our government should focus on what is actually harming students rather than their own agendas,” Krista Marks, senior, said.
Many agree these laws impede on the first amendment, which guarantees freedom of speech.
Citizens against the bill hurry to fight the bill in different ways, many with protest, but some want to fight fire with fire.
“If we get a ‘Don’t Say Gay Bill’ then I want a ‘Don’t Say Christ Bill’ and ‘Don’t Say White Bill,’” Molly Benedict, junior, said.
The bill itself will likely be voted against, as seen by the reaction from the House after Kelley’s proposed bill, with both democrats and republicans against the bill, as it censors identities and ideas.
“I think the bill is really stupid and literally unconstitutional,” Liam Gibson, senior, said.