LGBTQ history exhibit is removed from Missouri State Museum following complaints


An exhibit about the history of gay rights has been removed from the Missouri State Capitol after just four days, following complaints from a Republican state lawmaker’s staffer who claimed it was ‘pushing the LGBT agenda’. 

The exhibition, titled ‘Making History: Kansas City and the Rise of Gay Rights’ and created by students from the University of Missouri-Kansas City, went on display this week in the Missouri State Museum, on the first floor of the state Capitol.  

It chronicled LGBTQ activism through the years and Kansas City’s role in the gay rights movement across America. 

The exhibit had been scheduled to stay on display through December 26 but disappeared without warning or explanation on Wednesday.  

Missouri State Senator Greg Razer, the only openly gay member of the Senate, blasted the removal of the exhibit and claimed it was taken down because of a handful of complaints from Republican lawmakers wanting ‘the LGBT community to simply disappear into the shadows again.’  

An exhibit about the history of gay rights has been removed from the Missouri State Capitol after just four days, following complaints from a Republican state lawmaker’s staffer who claimed it was ‘pushing the LGBT agenda’. Pictured the exhibition

The exhibition is titled 'Making History: Kansas City and the Rise of Gay Rights'

The exhibition was created by students from the University of Missouri-Kansas City,

The exhibition, titled ‘Making History: Kansas City and the Rise of Gay Rights’ and created by students from the University of Missouri-Kansas City, went on display this week in the Missouri State Museum, on the first floor of the state Capitol (seen above)

The empty museum after the exhibition was removed after just four days. The exhibit had been scheduled to stay on display through December 26

The empty museum after the exhibition was removed after just four days. The exhibit had been scheduled to stay on display through December 26

The exhibit’s removal came after a legislative aide for state Rep. Mitch Boggs hit out online at the ‘in-your-face banners’ showing LGBTQ history inside the Capitol building.

Uriah Stark posted photos of the exhibit on Facebook Tuesday, writing: ‘So is there any good reason that our taxpayer funded museum is pushing the LGBT agenda in our state capitol? 

‘These are literally in-your-face banners that you can’t walk through the museum without seeing… and they’re scheduled to be there through December.’

In an update on the post, Stark added: ‘To clarify, the Missouri State Museum, which is under the Department of Natural Resources, is responsible for allowing this.’

Stark then celebrated the following day, posting that the exhibit had been removed thanks to ‘our great elected officials’ who he said had stood ‘for traditional family values.’ 

‘Thanks to the efforts of several of our great elected officials, the exhibit has been removed from the Missouri State Museum! To God be the glory!’ he wrote.

The exhibit's removal came after a legislative aide for state Rep. Mitch Boggs hit out online at the 'in-your-face banners' showing LGBTQ history. Uriah Stark posted photos of the exhibit on Facebook Tuesday (above)

The exhibit’s removal came after a legislative aide for state Rep. Mitch Boggs hit out online at the ‘in-your-face banners’ showing LGBTQ history. Uriah Stark posted photos of the exhibit on Facebook Tuesday

Stark then celebrated the following day, posting that the exhibit had been removed thanks to 'our great elected officials' who he said had stood 'for traditional family values'

Stark then celebrated the following day, posting that the exhibit had been removed thanks to ‘our great elected officials’ who he said had stood ‘for traditional family values’

Stark named Reps. Ann Kelley and Brian Seitz who he thanked ‘for taking the bull by the horns!’

‘I also spoke with multiple other elected officials who were ready and willing to take action, thank you all for standing for traditional family values!’ he wrote. 

It is not clear if the lawmakers impacted the decision to remove the exhibit. 

Stark (pictured) is a legislative aide for state Rep. Mitch Boggs

Stark (pictured) is a legislative aide for state Rep. Mitch Boggs

Seitz told the Kansas City Star he had seen photos of the exhibit on Facebook and wanted to know ‘why that exhibit was placed there at this time, what was the purpose behind the exhibit, and just see who made the call as far as putting that at the capitol.’

He said he made one call to speak to the museum curator but didn’t hear back and had no other involvement before the exhibit was taken down.  

Meanwhile, Governor Mike Parson’s office claimed the display had been taken down because the correct process was not followed for putting it up in the first place. 

Under state rules, the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) must get approval from the state Board of Public Buildings – made up of Parson, Lt. Governor Mike Kehoe and Attorney General Eric Schmitt – over the contents of an exhibit in the state museum, the office said.  

‘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,’ Parson’s spokeswoman Kelli Jones told the Kansas City Star.

Jones said the governor’s office had received ‘several complaints’ about the exhibit but said Parson himself had not been aware of it prior to getting complaints. 

Missouri State Senator Greg Razer (pictured), the only openly gay member of the Senate, blasted the removal of the exhibit

Missouri State Senator Greg Razer (pictured), the only openly gay member of the Senate, blasted the removal of the exhibit

He claimed it was taken down because of a handful of complaints from lawmakers wanting 'the LGBT community to simply disappear into the shadows again'

He claimed it was taken down because of a handful of complaints from lawmakers wanting ‘the LGBT community to simply disappear into the shadows again’

Razer also hit out at the governor's explanation calling it 'a poor and misleading excuse'

Razer also hit out at the governor’s explanation calling it ‘a poor and misleading excuse’

Minutes from board meetings, and seen by the Kansas City Star, reveal that state museum exhibits have not been discussed in any meetings stretching back as far as 2015.

Razer dismissed the explanation from the governor’s office as ‘a convenient excuse’ and demanded answers over why the exhibit was removed in a series of social media posts this week.  

‘I’ve been made aware that @mostateparks removed an exhibit from the Missouri Capitol entitled ‘Making History: Kansas City and the Rise of Gay Rights’ after only four days on display,’ he first tweeted Wednesday. 

‘I’m appalled, personally offended, and I will demand answers immediately.’

In a statement the next day, the Democrat slammed the move as ‘cancel culture’.  

‘I am extremely disappointed and angry that Missouri State Parks would bend to pressure from those who want to see people like me stripped of our rights and our dignity as American citizens,’ he said.

‘There is nothing controversial about an exhibit that explains how members of the LGBT community fought to end persecution and demand rights as citizens. 

Governor Mike Parson's office claimed the display had been taken down because the correct process was not followed for putting it up in the first place. Pictured Parson

Governor Mike Parson’s office claimed the display had been taken down because the correct process was not followed for putting it up in the first place. Pictured Parson

‘This is nothing but ‘cancel culture’ coming from those who want the LGBT community to simply disappear into the shadows again.’ 

In a follow-up tweet, Razer accused the museum of bowing ‘to pressure from lawmakers’.

‘@mostateparks hasn’t sought approval from the Board of Public Buildings for a museum exhibit in over 9 yrs. That is a poor & misleading excuse,’ he said.

‘They bowed to pressure from lawmakers to remove the non-controversial exhibit.’  

A former director at Missouri State Parks, which runs the museum, also questioned the reasoning given by the governor’s office.  

John Cunning, who oversaw the museum for 24 years before retiring in 2018, said needing to get permission for an exhibit was something ‘that never happened.’

‘In the 24 years I was involved with the state museum, we didn’t have to go to the governor’s office or to the board of public buildings to get permission to put up an exhibit,’ Cunning told the Missouri Independent

The traveling exhibition will now go on display at the Lohman Building from September 5. 



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