ST. LOUIS — St. Louis Mayor Tishaura Jones signed an executive order Thursday aimed at making St. Louis more welcoming to the transgender community.
The order will increase access to information about gender-affirming care through the city's health department, strengthen the city's commitment to inclusivity for employees and provide opportunities for trans youth in sports.
Jones signed the order after a round-table discussion with LGBTQ+ leaders to discuss how legislation in Jefferson City would affect their community.
“I've heard from trans youth and their families who feel like hateful attacks from Jefferson City Republicans will force them to leave our state," Jones said in a statement. "This order sends the message that St. Louis will fight to protect our trans community in the face of bigotry."
Transgender minors in Missouri would no longer would have access to puberty blockers, hormones or gender-affirming surgery under legislation passed by the Republican-led legislature earlier this month. The ban also affects some adults — Medicaid health care won’t cover any gender-affirming care in the state, and surgery will no longer be available to prisoners and inmates.
Another bill, to ban transgender girls and women from participating in female sports teams, would apply from kindergarten through college, both at public and private schools. Schools that allow transgender girls and women to play on such teams would lose state funding.
Missouri Gov. Mike Parson is expected to sign both bills.
Jones' executive order was broken down into four groups: access to gender-affirming care information, gender-affirming recreational and sports opportunities, gender-affirming city government operations and gender-affirming economic development.
The directives in the order are as follows:
Access to Gender-Affirming Care Information
- The Department of Health shall coordinate the collection and dissemination of accurate information on how city residents, including youth, may access gender-affirming care.
- The Department of Health shall coordinate the collection and dissemination of medically-accurate information regarding gender-affirming healthcare.
- The Office of the Mayor and the Department of Health shall collaborate to coordinate a summit of health care providers and other individuals for the purpose of discussing best practices surrounding gender-affirming care for youth.
Gender-Affirming Recreational and Sports Opportunities
- All sports leagues operated by and administered through city-funded and operated recreation centers shall be operated and administered in a manner that is gender-affirming and gender identity inclusive.
- No city-funded and operated sports program shall require youth participants to disclose their gender or gender identity as a condition of participation in such sports program.
- No city-funded and operated sports program shall require youth participants to disclose any gender-affirming medications prescribed to them as part of gender-affirming medical care as a condition of participation in such sports program.
- All city-funded and operated recreation centers shall designate at least one bathroom as an all-gender restroom.
- The city shall provide staff of all city-funded and operated recreation centers with training on gender identity affirming best practices.
Gender-Affirming City Government Operations
- The Board of Public Service shall designate at least one bathroom in each building housing city government administration as an all-gender restroom and shall produce a listing of locations for such restrooms. The city shall make this listing of locations publicly available.
- The Personnel Department shall review all city benefits policies for gender-affirming and gender identity inclusivity, and shall provide the Mayor with recommendations for any related changes or improvements to such benefits policies.
- The Personnel Department shall incorporate into training for new and current employees information on gender identity inclusivity and prohibitions against discrimination based upon an individual’s actual or perceived gender identity.
- The Department of Human Services shall ensure that its services for the aging, unhoused, veterans, youth, families and those living with disabilities are administered in a gender-affirming and gender-identity-inclusive way.
Gender-Affirming Economic Development
- The St. Louis Development Corporation is requested to produce recommendations for ensuring future development projects support gender inclusivity and how the city may incentivize such inclusivity.
- The St. Louis Development Corporation is further requested to produce recommendations for how the city may incentivize existing businesses to support gender inclusivity.
- The St. Louis Agency on Training and Employment is directed to ensure that its career services are administered in a gender-affirming and gender-identity-inclusive manner.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.