The health of LGBT Missourians is stronger today than in any point in our history. In the wake of the defeat of SJR39, which would add LGBT discrimination into the state constitution by way of a public vote, LGBT Missourians are waking up to a new Missouri. The voices of so many business leaders, advocates, and plain Missourians did the trick; many within the Missouri legislature could learn from what had transpired during the 30–minute dialogue that turned the page for LGBT Missourians.
Until that moment when the Missouri House Emerging Issues Committee voted down SJR39 6-6, LGBT folks and our straight allies were left to wonder the future of our lives, our families, and our loved ones. No one should have to feel the anxiety, frustration, and stress that came with the introduction of SJR39.
In effect, SJR39 hurts all of us who know, or have a loved one that is lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender. What we cannot understand is how this pain will ultimately impact the health of those Missourians, who like me — feel the stress of their actions. According to Missouri Foundation for Health, LGBT Missourians experience negative health outcomes linked to the lack of public policy support by the State of Missouri.
As we look to the future in Missouri, LGBT folks can be rest assured that the ‘toxic stress’ caused by SJR39 is no longer there. We have defeated it. We can breathe. And it’s now time that Missourians reflect on the pain this has caused. We will heal – just like we did in 2004. Our future is bright and our health is strong and our voices can rise above the hate.