The LGBTQ history display remains absent from the Capitol following complaints, a situation Sen. Lincoln Hough said should have been handled very differently.
“It’s unbelievable to me that, in the year 2021, there is a population that someone else may not agree with for whatever reason and they can still be discriminated against,” Hough said. “I think if I was in charge and someone had moved that exhibit on their own accord, I think I’d have fired them, and then I would have brought that back, and I would have gone down, and I would have made a public statement that everyone in the state is welcome whether you’re different than me or not.”
The “Making History: Kansas City and the Rise of Gay Rights” traveling exhibit, made by students at the University of Missouri-Kansas City was expected to remain in the Capitol from Aug. 27-Dec. 26 but was removed on Sept. 1. The Governor’s Office said the display was removed because proper procedure was not followed.
Hough appeared on Sunday’s episode of “This Week in Missouri Politics” to discuss the state’s budget and COVID-19 vaccine mandates. Hough, a proponent of the vaccine, said vaccination should be a personal choice rather than a requirement for employment and encouraged people to bring their questions and concerns to their health care providers.
“I think the government coming in and telling you what you have to do in order to stay employed is the wrong message,” Hough, a Republican, said. “Let it play out, but don’t force somebody one way or the other, let them make those decisions.”
Reps. Ashley Aune, Kurtis Gregory, and Emily Weber joined this week’s panel alongside Aaron Baker of Axiom Strategies. The group covered the redistricting process, which is being undertaken by the House and Senate bipartisan redistricting commissions.
State Demographer Matt Hesser told lawmakers last week legislative and congressional maps could change wildly based on the 2020 census data which saw large population increases in cities and a shrinking population in more rural communities.
Aune, a Democrat representing Platte and Clay counties in the lower chamber, said her district was one of the regions that saw a population surge.
“We’re seeing a lot of places in Missouri that grew exponentially,” Aune said. “I think that representation really matters on a statewide level, and we’re not seeing that yet. I hope redistricting helps with that, but with Republicans in control, I don’t have hope for that.”
Baker, who was appointed to the Senate commission by Gov. Mike Parson, said appointees were ready for the challenge. Both commissions scheduled initial public hearings next month.
“We seem to have 20 commissioners more or less that want to find some sort of agreement and do what the process has told us to do, which is to come up with a map,” Baker said. “I think we have a lot of similar goals and I think on the Senate side I think it’s possible.”
Cameron Gerber studied journalism at Lincoln University. Prior to Lincoln, he earned an associate’s degree from State Fair Community College. Cameron is a native of Eldon, Missouri.
Contact Cameron at firstname.lastname@example.org.