KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Kansas City, Missouri, could add a LGBTQ+ commission to address the needs of that growing community. But after taking up the issue for a second time, the city council on Wednesday decided to gather input from the current KCMO Human Right Commission before moving forward.
In the proposed commission, Kansas City, Missouri, Mayor Quinton Lucas would appoint seven members who specialize in policies such as housing, public safety, health care and education, as well as six members from each district to provide a voice for the LGBTQ+ community in legislative actions from City Hall.
"[It] Would be a forward-thinking and pro-active commission in the city of Kansas City that would not only represent LGBTQ people all over the city, but really push the need out on policy when we talk about human rights representation," Community Activist Justice Horn said.
Similarly, advocates told 41 Action News the commission would give LGBTQ+ voices a seat at the table.
"There's a huge opening here with this commission to actually focus on not just our community but how things that affect our community also affect yours," Inoru Wade, soard Secretary for the Kansas City Center for Inclusion, said.
Stedmond Ware, chairman of the board for the Kansas City Center for Inclusion, said policy has the chance to create change and opportunities.
City leaders first first passed an ordinance in 1993 prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation, and Horn said the commission will propel their cause further.
"It's an opportunity not only for us to say, 'Alright, honestly, the bare minimum, we're not going to be discriminated against,' but this commission is leaping forward and saying, 'How are we going to be pro-active?'" Horn said.
It also would move the conversation forward with how the LGBTQ+ community is represented in Kansas City and create leadership opportunities, according to Wade.
"You're seeing people elevated in positions of power and positions to see themselves represented and as much as we like to think it's related to government that can have an impact on a household's culture," Wade said.
More information about the proposed commission is available on the City Clerk's website.
The current Human Rights Commission, in part, tackles legal issues surrounding discrimination.