A Missouri House Representative is pushing for new school bullying policies. Representative Sue Allen’s House Bill 134 was heard at a public hearing this morning by the Committee for Elementary and Secondary Education.
The current human rights act in Missouri says, to discriminate against any person because of “race, color, religion, national origin, ancestry, sex, disability, or familial status” is illegal, but it doesn’t cover gender identity and sexual orientation. It’s not just in Missouri, right now 29 states have no protections for sexual orientation and 34 have no discrimination protections for transgender individuals.
Aaron Malin is the co-founder of Missourians for Equality, an organization that is attempting to take the issue of employment and housing discrimination of LGBT members to a ballot in 2014. The proposal would be an amendment to the current legal definition of discrimination in Missouri.
LGBT Missourians are disproportionately impacted by various health problems according to the Missouri Foundation for Health’s August 2012 “Responding to LGBT Health Disparities” report. These statistics paint a picture of how LGBT Missourians experience the world.
Missouri has one of the highest smoking rates in the nation -- at 21 percent, it's double the rate in states like Utah and California. But some segments of the population smoke even more. In this week's Health & Wealth update, I talk with MU researchers who have found that the smoking rate among lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Missourians is much higher than in the population at large.