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KC celebrates LGBTQ community as concerns grow over protections

KC Pride
Posted at 10:08 PM, Jun 01, 2019
and last updated 2021-07-12 18:06:31-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo.  — KC Pride's three-day celebration of diversity and inclusion, Kansas City PrideFest, drew its largest crowd Saturday, officials said.

The Pride Month kickoff event in at Berkeley Riverfront Park in Kansas City, Missouri, was filled with live performances, games and food. But some in attendance wondered why state lawmakers did not add protections for LGBTQ members when it comes to state law regarding discrimination in employment and housing.

“The Republican super majority (in the Missouri legislature) have not allowed a vote to happen on a very simple bill that says you can't fire someone from their job because they are LGBT," Rep. Greg Razer said. "That is basic civil rights."

Razer is one of four LGBTQ community members in the Missouri legislature. This session lawmakers did not put his bill up for a full vote before the House of Representatives.

“I think we have a lot of work to do,” Ken Strickland said amid the revelry at PrideFest.

Razer spent Saturday morning calling out Gov. Mike Parson on Twitter for not speaking up for LGBTQ rights.

“It's time he stands up and says discrimination is wrong," Razer said. "How difficult is that?"

Parson told 41 Action News last year he doesn't think someone should be fired because of their sexual orientation.

“For me and my faith, I don't agree with it," he said, "I think it is between a man and woman. No, I don't think anyone should be discriminated on. If you are a good employee and working hard, what your life decisions are is you as an individual. No, I don't think anyone should be discriminated."

State law still permits it. Those attending PrideFest said they hope lawmakers pass Razer's legislation soon.

“I am 59 years old and, yes, we have gotten a lot of things come across and things getting better with marriage and adoption, but it seems like we are taking a few steps back,” Strickland said.

Razer said he will keep proposing the legislation until the Missouri legislature votes on his bill.