Culture Wars/Current Controversies

In Response to MO’s Attack on Trans People, Kansas City May Become a Safe Haven

Trans advocates say that the safe haven designation is needed to combat the state’s attacks on LGBTQ people.

A marcher carries a Transgender Pride flag during a march in Kansas City, Missouri. (The Kansas City Star/Tribune News Service via Getty Images)

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City officials in Kansas City, Missouri, are considering designating the city a sanctuary for transgender people seeking gender-affirming care in response to the state’s attorney general, Andrew Bailey, instituting some of the most extreme anti-trans policies in the country.

In April, Bailey instituted an emergency rule that effectively banned access to gender-affirming health care for transgender adults. In reaction to the rule, which was set to go into effect in late April, some medical providers immediately sent emails to their clients, refusing to fill prescriptions in fear of being in conflict with the law.

Several advocacy groups sued to prevent the regulations from going into effect, alleging that the restrictions went well beyond Bailey’s power to regulate consumer protection matters. A St. Louis County judge, Ellen Ribaudo, has granted a temporary restraining order, barring enforcement of the rule as the lawsuit progresses.


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