Kansas City is now a sanctuary city for the trans community

Published: May. 11, 2023 at 10:49 PM CDT
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KANSAS CITY, Mo. (KCTV) - Kansas City is now a sanctuary city for the trans community after Mayor Quinton Lucas signed a resolution that pushes back against some bills at the state level.

“This is just about right and wrong,” said Lucas. “It is right to support your fellow people.”

The resolution passed with an 11-1 vote.

“We are not giving up a fight for people. We are not going to be scared to stand up for people,” Lucas said. “It’s never wrong to stand up for people.”

The resolution comes at a time when some trans rights are in the crosshairs of the state legislature. Governor Mike Parson is expected to sign bills into law that would restrict minors’ access to gender-affirming care, as well as a ban on transgender women competing in female sports.

“To be in Kansas City, Missouri, means that you are in a city that accepts, promotes and supports the rights of trans people,” said Lucas. “I think that’s something that’s powerful.”

Heather Hall, who represents the first district, was the lone councilmember to vote against the resolution.

“People pay their tax dollars to us to do very few things,” said Hall. “Trash, snow removal, potholes, sidewalks. They do not tell us to do social issues at the municipal level.”

Members of the trans community were at city hall to see the resolution get signed. KCTV5 News talked to the head of the LGBTQ Housing Commission, and he said the city made the right decision.

“If the city chooses to say, ‘We are not going to discriminate,’ that’s the right thing to do,” said J.D. Besares. “We are just like everybody else. I mow my lawn. I garden. I grow tomatoes. We are just normal folks like everyone else.”

Critics of the resolution doubt its enforceability. Mayor Lucas said he plans to forward a letter to the Board of Police Commissioners asking them to follow the policy adopted by the council.

“There are a lot of priorities for the Kansas City Police Department,” Lucas said. “A priority for the Kansas City Police Department is not standing between patients and their physician, is not standing between decisions that are made by families.”

At the state level, Governor Parson plans to sign the two laws restricting the rights of trans people into law. If signed, the laws will be on the books until 2027.