I moved to Saint Louis in 2009, after graduating from Oklahoma State University in Stillwater. I’ve written before about pertinent news coming out of Missouri, the most infamous being August’s big Todd Akin “legitimate rape” story. Earlier in the year, Missouri had been one of the first states to try passing a “conscience clause” bill in order to oppose the Affordable Care Act’s contraception mandate. Which was then vetoed by the governor. And then the state senate overrode the veto, like a bunch of jerks. It’s still a struggle to grab and hang onto a job here, and access to reduced-economic-stress contraception isn’t something Missourians are going to forget anytime soon. And something I haven’t mentioned previously is that this August, Springfield’s city council somewhat-quietly began to consider legislation to add gender identity and sexuality in that city’s non-discrimination laws (thankfully, the measure will not be decided – i.e., defeated – by public referendum).
Fresh ideas and organizations headed up by young, progressive people living and working in Missouri are beginning to make their mark. Just last week, a new group based here in the city crashed an HRC gala in their highest-profile action yet, demanding that big-money “gay marriage” groups acknowledge the narrowness of their campaign. Many young progressives are also choosing to stay in Saint Louis after school to work and build social networks. The trend is a reversal of the city’s half-century long population slump, and can be attributed to comparatively low living costs and what looks like a “wash-back” from the suburbs (obvious downside: gentrification of wide swaths of the inner city).
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