Missouri Democrat senator Greg Razor has expressed anger over the cancellation of “Making History: Kansas City and the Rise of Gay Rights” in the Missouri State Museum.
The cancellation came after Christian zealot Uriah Stark whinged on social media that the museum was “pushing the LGBT agenda.” Razer, above, is the only openly gay member of the Missouri Senate, and Stark is Missouri State Director of the two-person strong National Decency Coalition.
He is also an aide to Republican state Representative Mitch Boggs, and claims on his Facebook page that he’d been “saved by the blood of the Lamb.”
According to the Advocate, Stark also posted “To God be the Glory” after the exhibition was closed down just four days after it opened. It was due to run until December.
Channel 41KSHB reported yesterday that Razer is demanding answers after the state Capitol’s museum wound up the exhibition: He said:
After four days, I found out that it had been taken down and [the] traveling exhibit put back in a closet. I feel like I’ve been put back in a closet. I’ve looked at what was in that exhibit. There is nothing that is inappropriate. It is nothing to be ashamed of. It is things to be celebrated.
He said the exhibit represented and told the stories of people who made it possible for him to be serving his elected position today. The exhibit showcases the vital role Kansas City played in the fight for gay rights, including its opportunity to host the first-ever LGBTQ national civil rights conference.
There are members that I serve with who want to silence that history, that don’t want that to be told, because they are bothered. I don’t know exactly by what, but certainly by the fact that I exist.
The museum, which is on the first floor of the Missouri Capitol, is operated by Missouri State Parks, which is under the guidance of the Department of Natural Resources.
Razer reached out to Missouri State Parks Director Mark Sutherland.
I just got off the phone with the man who was in charge, who made the decision. I did not get a clear answer, so we have a formal Sunshine request to his office, and we will get the answers.
On Tuesday, Stark took asked on Facebook why:
A taxpayer funded museum is pushing the LGBT agenda in our state capitol? My involvement was that I simply called the museum director and left a message for a return call (which I have not received).
My question would have been, ‘Why was this time chosen for the display, is it needed and was there an agenda behind the timing, as school children may be taking trips to the Capitol in the near future?
Would this display have been age appropriate and does it represent the feelings and concerns of most Missourians?
Referring to the exhibits, he added:
These are literally in-your-face banners that you can’t walk through the museum without seeing.
Kelli R Jones, Communications Director for Governor Mike Parson, said the exhibit was removed after the Department of Natural Resources failed to meet the statutory requirements for approval:
The Department of Natural Resources manages the Museum and state statute requires the Department to coordinate activities relating to the Museum with the Board of Public Buildings. The statutorily mandated process was not followed in this instance, thereby, causing the Department of Natural Resources to remove the display.
The exhibit was organised by students in the public history program at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. It consisted of banners with messages documenting the work of early LGBTQ+ rights organisations in the city. It has been displayed around the state since the students assembled it in 2017, and there is an online version with extensive information.
A Facebook Live event about the exhibit was scheduled for Thursday but has been canceled.