Target: Missouri State Representative Jeff Pogue
Goal: Don’t bar universities from creating inclusive facilities for transgender students.
Gender neutral housing and bathroom options will be banned from Missouri’s university campuses if legislation introduced by State Representative Jeff Pogue becomes law. This would have a profoundly negative impact on the safety of trans and gender-nonconforming college students in the state. Demand that Representative Pogue abandon his transphobic proposals at once.
The two bills in question are a reaction to a recent announcement from the University of Missouri that it would begin to pilot gender-neutral housing at its flagship campus in an effort to create safer housing spaces for trans and nonbinary students. One bill would explicitly ban the creation of such gender-neutral housing at universities in the state, and the other would ban the creation of any state-funded bathroom that was gender-neutral and more than single-occupancy.
Representative Pogue introduced his bills in an effort to, he says, “protect the social norms [of Missouri].” He seems to have forgotten that his job is to protect all people of Missouri, including those who exist outside of bigoted and dangerous “social norms.” Sign the petition below to demand that Pogue rescind his proposals from consideration so that they can never become law.
Dear Representative Pogue,
I am writing you today regarding the two pieces of legislation you recently introduced to ban gender-neutral housing and gender-neutral bathrooms at Missouri’s universities. These bills perpetuate stigma against the trans and gender-nonconforming community and will put many individuals at risk of harassment and violence.
Everyone wants to be able to live, and use the bathroom, without fear or apprehension about what might happen to them. That is especially true for trans and gender-nonconforming people, who often are targeted for harassment and violence on the basis of their gender. It’s because of this fact that gender-neutral housing and bathrooms at college campuses should be encouraged, not banned.
While you say that your bills are motivated by a desire to preserve the “social norms” of Missouri, I would urge you to remember that it is the government’s primary job to protect vulnerable minorities from the tyranny of the majority. Just because a social norm against gender-neutral housing and bathrooms may exist—a contention that is itself hazy—does not mean that the norm is just or morally sound.
Your legislation is reactionary and throws a whole population of people under the bus. I demand that you rescind these bills from consideration so that they never have the chance to become law and endanger university students in your state.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Flinga via Wikimedia Commons