GLSEN Executive Director Condemns Missouri “Don’t Say Gay” Bill

For Immediate Release: February 6, 2023


GLSEN Executive Director Condemns Missouri “Don’t Say Gay” Bill

On Tuesday, February 7, Missouri legislators will hold a hearing on SB134, a bill that would prohibit school staff from talking to students about sexual orientation or gender identity unless they are a licensed counselor and have parental consent. This bill could negatively impact both educators and students — for example, under SB134, an educator might be prohibited from mentioning their same-gender spouse or fear that they would face repercussions for doing so.

GLSEN Executive Director Melanie Willingham-Jaggers released the following statement in response to SB134:

“LGBTQ+ students in Missouri are facing an onslaught of bills attempting to dismantle their rights. This latest bill, SB134, is meant to silence LGBTQ+ students and remove spaces for them to be their authentic selves. GLSEN’s recent School Climate Survey showed that students are experiencing increasingly hostile school environments as support declines. These ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bills have a catastrophic effect on queer youth and silence supportive educators who are often a lifeline for them. GLSEN will continue to fight for positive representation and visibility of LGBTQ+ communities in all schools across the country, and we stand in solidarity with LGBTQ+ youth in Missouri.”


GLSEN is a multi-racial intergenerational LGBTQ+ organization working nationally and locally to transform K-12 educational systems in the United States. Each year, GLSEN programs and resources reach millions of students and educators in K-12 schools, via action at the national, state, and local level. Since 1990, GLSEN has improved conditions for LGBTQ+ students across the United States and helped launch an international movement to address LGBTQ+ issues in education.