5 Missouri Counties Still Not Issuing Marriage Licenses to Same-Sex Couples

Missouri has 114 counties, and as we’ve seen happen in many states, not all county clerks decided to comply with the Supreme Court ruling of June 26th stating that marriage is a fundamental right available to all Americans.

Progress is being made, however, and we now have all but 5 counties issuing marriage licenses. At the time of this post, only Schuyler, Maries, Vernon, Reynolds, and Barry counties are holding out.

Keep up to date with the county watch map on the PROMO website.


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Kansas Agencies Recognizing Same-Sex Marriages

On Friday, June 26th, the United States Supreme Court ruled in favor of full marriage equality for all Americans.  Unfortunately, several counties in Kansas employ chief judges who refused to allow marriage licenses to be issued.

Many couples were also denied requests to change their drivers’ licenses to reflect their legal names, and were told name changes won’t be allowed until a direct order comes from the Kansas state Department of Revenue.

On Tuesday, June 30th, Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt dismissed his suit against Johnson County Chief Judge Moriarty, effectively ending one of two state legal challenges to same-sex marriages in Kansas. The only legal challenge still pending is a Federal lawsuit against the state constitutional marriage ban.  There is currently a pending request for summary judgement from ACLU attorneys.

Equality Kansas chased conflicting rumors all day, and now is confirming that same-sex couples can get their name changes processed on their drivers licenses, and that state employees can enroll their same-sex spouses in their state employee health plans.  This news has come to us from Equality Kansas members and others in Kansas’ LGBT population throughout the day.


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Our Trans Loved Ones: Q&A Resource from PFLAG

The conversation about people who are transgender was just taken to a whole new level of engagement and interest with the unveiling of Caitlyn Jenner on Vanity Fair. There are more questions being asked, more people interested in educating themselves, and as always, PFLAG is a valued resource for answers!

Today, we’re proud to announce the formal release of our newest publication, Our Trans Loved Ones: Questions and Answers for Parents, Families, and Friends of People Who Are Transgender And Gender Expansive.

Based on its well-loved and popular predecessor, Welcoming Our Trans Family and Friends, Our Trans Loved Ones is a brand-new, updated resource. Written by PFLAG staff members, and created with the help of dozens of content experts, reviewers, and family members and friends with experience to share, it is chock full of information, first-person stories, expert input, and more, all geared to those who have a close family member or friend — of any age— who has come out as trans or gender expansive.

The new publication and comprehensive web resources (available at pflag.org/trans) address frequently asked questions and are also divided into sections specific to three age ranges; Childhood, Adolescence, and Adulthood. This gives readers easy and immediate access to information they need based on their own circumstances, along with a full section of Frequently Asked Questions for people of all ages.

Just as Our Trans Loved Ones is geared to families and friends, we also have answers for allies! Our other invaluable publication from our Straight for Equality® project, guide to being a trans ally, applies the philosophy of the project — to invite, educate, and engage allies — to a topic that has been key to PFLAG’s work for years: inclusion for people who are transgender.

So visit pflag.org/trans for an interactive, electronic copy of Our Trans Loved Ones or straightforequality.org/trans for your electronic copy of guide to being a straight ally. (And don’t forget the comprehensive resources on both pages!)


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June is PRIDE month!

pride-monthToo many people associate Pride events with a big party, sometimes a wild party that is too risque for kids to attend. But there’s more to celebrating LGBT pride than a weekend hangout with loud music and rainbow-colored knick-knacks.

There’s a lot for the LGBT community to celebrate, buy why do we come together and what is the history behind it? Well, learning the history of Pride and why it’s celebrated in June is one of the ways you can celebrate in a meaningful way. Want even more? Good! Mashable put together a list of ten…

  1. Learn your history
  2. Support your local LGBT youth centers
  3. Look beyond marriage equality
  4. Watch films with positive, complex depictions of LGBT life
  5. Support LGBT art and film
  6. Support local and national businesses that are LGBT friendly
  7. Be critical of your workplace’s LGBT policies
  8. Get tested, and tell all of your friends to do the same
  9. Talk with a younger and older member of the LGBT community about their experiences
  10. Finally, go to your local LGBT Pride event.

To read more about each of these in detail, visit the article on Mashable.


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Kansas City businesses recognized at the 9th Annual Corporate Celebration of Equality

On April 8th, HRC Kansas City hosted the 9th Annual Corporate Celebration of Equality honoring major Kansas City area employers committed to LGBT equality in the workplace. The event attracts employers committed to equality from states all across the Midwest. Twenty-four companies in total were recognized for their Corporate Equality Index (CEI) score running the gamut from Hallmark and Principal Financial to Sprint and local law firm Shook, Hardy & Bacon, LLP.

Kansas City Mayor Sly James received an award on behalf of his work with the city council to achieve a 100 on the Municipal Equality Index (MEI). Mayor James made news in February with his response to Kansas Governor Sam Brownback, who rolled backed protections for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender state workers. His social media tweet, “LGBT COMMUNITY!  You are welcome in Kansas City!” instantly went viral and speaks to his dedication to fostering an environment of inclusion.

Cerner Corporation played host and was able to highlight its 90% score on HRC’s CEI. Three healthcare companies also were recognized for receiving the designation of “Leader in LGBT Healthcare Equality” via HRC’s Healthcare Equality Index (HEI) — Children’s Mercy Hospitals & Clinics, Research Medical Center & St. Luke’s Health System.


Companies honored and present to receive their awards included Anheuser-Busch (100%), Black & Veatch (65%), Bryan Cave, LLP (100%), Cerner Corporation (90%), Enterprise Holdings (65%), Hallmark (90%), Husch Blackwell, LLP (90%), Nestle Purina PetCare (95%), Principal Financial (90%), Shook, Hardy & Bacon, LLP (100%), Sprint (100%), Stinson Leonard Street (90%), Union Pacific (70%), and Waddell & Reed (65%)

Companies who are no present by achieved high enough scores to be recognized included AMC Entertainment (100%), Ameren (85%), Brown Shoe Company (100%), ConAgra Foods (100%), Emerson Electric (80%), Express Scripts (70%), Fleishman-Hillard Inc. (80%), Monsanto (100%), Polsinelli Shughart (70%)Thompson Coburn LLP (100%), The Laclede Group (80%), and Rockwell Collins (95%).

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