LGBT exhibit in Missouri state capitol removed after a staff complains
An LGBT exhibit that was displayed at the Missouri state capitol in Jefferson City was removed after only four days due to a complaint by a legislative staffer.
According to a report by The Kansas City Star, the exhibit depicting the history of the LGBT rights movement in Kansas City had been displayed in the Missouri State Museum at the first floor of the capitol.
Missouri state capitol transfers an LGBTQ exhibit
The traveling exhibit was entitled, “Making History: Kansas City and the Rise of Gay Rights,” and was assembled by students in the public history program of the University of Missouri-Kansas City as early as 2017.
Sen. Greg Razer, a Kansas City Democrat and the only out gay state senator, said that, “some members of the legislature threw a fit” at the exhibit.
Because of this, the Department of Natural Resources– which runs the Missouri parks system, which includes the museum– took the exhibit down and moved to an adjacent building.
Razer said that they “literally put my history back in the closet.”
He further said in a tweet that “seeing the LGBT community not being persecuted and seeking equal treatment under the law is offensive to some.”
A staff at the Missouri state capitol is offended
The staff member was identified as Uriah Stark, an aide to Republican state Rep. Mitch Boggs.
Stark had objected to the exhibit on Facebook, saying, “So is there any good reason that our taxpayer funded museum is pushing the LGBT agenda in our state capitol?”
“These are literally in-your-face banners that you can’t walk through the museum without seeing… and they’re scheduled to be there through December,” Stark said.
Later on, Stark was ecstatic over the exhibit’s removal and credited two lawmakers for their help. He further wrote, “To God be the glory!”
State officials: Procedures were not followed
Officials at the state capitol defended the move by saying that the exhibit didn’t follow the rules.
A spokeswoman for Republican Gov. Mike Parson, Kelli Jones, said in a statement that the exhibit had violated a state law requiring coordination with the state’s Board of Public Buildings.
Jones further said the governor was “not aware of the display” until he received complaints about it.
However, John Cunning, a former director of the museum for 24 years, said that, “Never in that time did I have to get permission from the Board of Public Buildings to put up an exhibit.”
Razer said this decision to move the exhibit was “unacceptable” and that the governor’s reasoning “seemed like a convenient excuse.”