Tour seeks to promote LGBT rights and marriage equality
The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) brought the “On the Road to Equality” bus tour to the home of the Kangaroos on Thursday in conjunction with the LGBTQIA Fair. The fair was hosted by the LGBTQIA Office. The 12-week tour will travel to 17 cities in 11 states and the District of Columbia, with particular emphasis on the Midwest and South where there are limited legal protections for the LGBT community.
Things started off with a press conference, featuring: HRC President Joe Solmonese, State Senator Jolie Justus, Kansas City Mayor Pro-Tem Cindy Circo and Dr. Karen Dace, UMKC’s Deputy Chancellor of the Division of Diversity, Access, & Equity.
After the press conference, attendees got the chance to visit with local organizations such as (KCAVP) Kansas City’s Anti-Violence Project, Planned Parenthood, the Mid-America Freedom Band, Kansas City’s Gay, Lesbian BiSexual and Transgendered band, the Carnivores, Kansas City’s Gay Rugby team along with the Women’s Center and the LGBTQIA Office. An added perk was the ice cream truck handing out free ice cream to passers-by.
Solmonese said he was “thrilled to stop here at one of the most progressive universities in the state. Great work is occurring here in Kansas City and those out there on the front lines fighting for change should be applauded. There are over 15,000 same-sex households in the state of Missouri, and the majority of Americans believe that anti-bullying laws should cover LGBT Students and those children of LGBT Couples. We will win this fight for equality one state at a time, one city ordinance at a time, one congregation at a time, and one community at a time.”
HRC’s first stop in the Show-Me-State was right here on campus. It had several events happening over the weekend, such as a seminar on LGBT healthcare, a benefit party for the LikeMe Lighthouse Project, country singer Chely Wright’s LGBT Center opening up in Kansas City, a seminar on adoption for LGBT families hosted at the Plaza Branch of the Kansas City Public Library on Saturday afternoon and a gala that evening in St. Louis.
UMKC has a longstanding commitment to the diversity of students and making sure that all students feel welcome without any bias, which can be seen with events like this.