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Missouri AG, KCPD at odds over possible enforcement of state’s gender-affirming care proposals

Transgender Health Missouri
Posted at 12:49 PM, May 24, 2023
and last updated 2023-05-24 13:54:08-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Missouri Attorney General Andrew Bailey struck out against Kansas City, Missouri, Chief of Police Stacey Graves Wednesday for over possible enforcement of the state’s gender-affirming proposals.

On Monday, Graves issued a statement saying that the Kansas City, Missouri, Police Department “plays no role in these law changes because the provisions do not pertain to criminal conduct.”

Instead, Graves said the provisions are matters of enforcement “through medical licensing and civil action.”

“I want to assure Kansas City, we will continue to serve all the members of the community equitably regardless of race, ethnicity, age, religion, gender, gender identity, gender expression or sexual orientation,” Graves said in the statement.

In a letter Wednesday, Bailey went to Graves’ bosses, the Kansas City Board of Police Commissioners, saying, “it is the Board’s constitutional duty to enforce the law and ensure that children are protected from these dangerous, experimental gender transition interventions.”

“As Missouri’s top legal officer, I will take any legal action necessary against the City to ensure our state laws are enforced,” Bailey said in the letter.

The statement from KCPD came after the Kansas City, Missouri, City Council adopted a resolution on May 11 that identified Kansas City as a “safe haven” for gender-affirming care.

That vote came a day after Missouri lawmakers passed legislation that banned gender-affirming care for minors. That law still requires the signature of Gov. Mike Parson.

Moments after the council passed the resolution, Jackson County Prosecuting Attorney Jean Peters Baker issued a statement supporting the council’s actions.

"We will continue to take all legal and appropriate steps under Missouri Law to protect trans people, who are increasingly targeted for violence and exploitation," Peters Baker said on May 11. "Rather than focusing on criminalizing trans individuals, the criminal justice system should seek to protect them.

"Each person needs to know they can seek health care for their needs and that those needs will be addressed," she continued.

Earlier this year, Bailey implemented an "emergency rule" that would have required adults and children to undergo more than a year of therapy and fulfill other requirements before they could receive gender-affirming treatments such as puberty blockers, hormones and surgery.

But that emergency rule suddenly disappeared from the Missouri Secretary of State's website on May 16.