An LGBTQ+ history exhibit that had been on display in the Missouri state capitol has been removed following complaints from Republican lawmakers.
“Making History: Kansas City and the Rise of Gay Rights” had been on display in the Missouri State Museum, which is housed in the capitol building, for four days before its removal. The display was previously scheduled to be on exhibit through December 26.
“This display was supposed to be up until [December] 26 [and] made it all of four days before some members of the legislature threw a fit and DNR [Department of Natural Resources] apparently acquiesced to them and took it down and literally put my history back in the closet,” state Senator Greg Razor, who is an openly gay Democrat, told the Kansas City Star.
A spokeswoman for the state’s governor said in a statement on Thursday that the exhibit had been removed because it had not been coordinated in advance with the Board of Public Buildings. However, the Kansas City Star reports that minutes from the Board of Public Buildings dating back to 2015 show that the Board had not previously discussed museum exhibits.
The Star also reports that Uriah Stark, a legislative assistant to Republican Representative Mitch Boggs, had complained about the exhibit, writing on Facebook that the “taxpayer funded museum is pushing the LGBT agenda in our state capitol.”
In a subsequent post, Stark thanked a number of Republican lawmakers for their efforts in having the display removed.
For Razor, he believes the removal of the exhibit speaks to larger issues of anti-LGBTQ+ sentiment that linger in the state. “Do you really think the people that brought down that exhibit are going to rent me a house?” he said. “We have seen discrimination under our own roof.”
Here is the display that was too controversial for the Missouri Capitol. @mostateparks removed it after only four days because seeing the LGBT community not being persecuted and seeking equal treatment under the law is offensive to some. #moleg https://t.co/AKe5RbQluB
— State Senator Greg Razer (@SenGregRazer) September 2, 2021