Wednesday, August 17, 2011

"Saint Louis is SO Gay!" reads the new PROMO tee shirt.




And it is…So much so that one can get really comfortable living here. We have lived in two neighborhoods in the three and a half years we have been here; we have never been the only same sex couple living on the block. We have visited numerous Episcopal parishes in the half of the state of Missouri (geographical boundaries of the Episcopal Diocese of Missouri) and have yet to see any type of bias exhibited against us. In fact, many of the parishes are openly welcoming by being Oasis Parishes and/or Integrity Proud Parish Partners. (http://www.theoasismissouri.org/ & http://www.integrityusa.org)

Saint Louis City has had a domestic partnership law since 1997 (pro, not anti). Domestic partnerships registered in other cities are considered valid here when one files a certified copy of the registration with the City Register.

It is easy to forget that people across the globe are discriminated against, beaten, and murdered simply because they are LGBT. It is easy to go to work or home, go to a restaurant or bar, enjoy the company of friends and only fleetingly, if ever, think of those just outside of the city limits who do not do these things, simply because they are not allowed to do so, at least not openly.

But there are those who do not allow us to get too comfortable in our forgetfulness, people right here in this comfortably LGBT city who let us know every day that everything is not all right.It is not alright until it is all right and just. Missouri continues to be a very homophobic state with laws that do not protect its gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender citizens.

PROMO is one of those groups, working for change at the state legislative level and on the home front also. Human Rights Campaign St Louis is another. The work that is being done with Growing American Youth is nothing less than phenomenal. Bus # 10 will take off for Iowa on August 26 in the ShowMeNoH8 Show Me Marriage Equality so that the next group of couples can be legally wed. The LGBT Center of St. Louis recently opened its doors at a new location offering an information center and safe refuge to any and all.

Saint Louis is so gay! BUT there is still so much work to do…here and everywhere else. Even though we are fairly comfortable here, it is good to see all the work being done to promote equality for all.

Please, visit these sites. Check out what is happening in St. Louis. You can find out how to get one of the tee shirts on the link provided under the picture In this city known for its poverty, racial tensions and crime rates, it is very good to be in the top 10 of something good!

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