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Suppressing Gay History in Missouri


This is just disgusting. And not surprising in a state that has moved hard right in recent years.

On Monday, a traveling exhibit about gay history began a planned four-month display in the Missouri Capitol. By Wednesday night, it was gone.

The exhibit, created by historians at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, was supposed to be in the Capitol building’s Missouri State Museum until the end of the year, said State Senator Greg Razer, a Democrat. But the display, which explored the gay rights movement in Kansas City, was quietly removed by the state authorities this week in a decision that drew widespread attention.

In the few days it was up, visitors to the Capitol could walk among the exhibit’s banners, which stood prominently in a main hallway, and learn how L.G.B.T.Q. people had organized in Kansas City and later created a group that fostered a community of gay people in the city.

Kelli Jones, a spokeswoman for Gov. Mike Parson, a Republican, said in a statement on Friday afternoon that the exhibit organizers had violated a state law that required them to coordinate with the state’s Board of Public Buildings, a three-member panel that includes the governor, the lieutenant governor and the attorney general.

I love the use of procedure to get rid of this. I’m sure that would have happened too if the exhibit was on veterans…..

Mr. Razer, who is openly gay, called the decision to remove the display from the Capitol “unacceptable.”

“To have this exhibit ripped down and shoved in a closet is offensive,” he said in an interview on Friday afternoon before state officials announced that the exhibit would be relocated.

Mr. Razer, who grew up in Pemiscot County, which voted overwhelmingly for Donald J. Trump for president last year, was excited that L.G.B.T.Q. children who would visit the museum this school year would see an exhibit that made them feel welcome in the Capitol. Now, he’s concerned about the message the state authorities have sent to those young people in taking down the banners.

“I want them to know that this is a beautiful, vibrant, accepting community that wants you here,” he said. “Stunts like this don’t help.”

John Cunning, a former director of the museum, said on Friday that he was “befuddled” by the state’s rationale that the exhibit had been taken down because the Board of Public Buildings was not involved in approving it. Mr. Cunning oversaw the museum for 24 years.

“Never in that time did I have to get permission from the Board of Public Buildings to put up an exhibit,” he said, adding that he had “never had any dealings with the board.”

Mr. Razer said the governor’s reasoning “seemed like a convenient excuse.”

Mike Parson is a terrible human who like Comrade Hawley serves the worst instincts of the voters of Missouri. Unfortunately, this is a majority of Missouri voters.

You always think Missouri should be less horrible than it is. Remember when Obama almost won the state in 2008? Like actually winning Indiana, that seems like 100 years ago. Since Missouri has two large metropolitan areas, it really seems like some of this crazy should be negated. But….large parts of both metro areas are in other states. We’ve seen that actually make a difference in Kansas, which is suddenly becoming a bit more competitive for Democrats due to KC suburbs. So Missouri is a political cesspool of reactionaries.

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