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Trans Rights Are Human Rights – A Message about Missouri’s gender care legislation

A transgender flag being waved at LGBT pride march

Dear Community, 

The Digital Library Federation (DLF), a program of the Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR), would like to take a moment to address the recent and developing news of the banning of gender-affirming care for minors and adults by Missouri politicians, as the 2023 CLIR events (The DLF Forum, Learn@DLF, and NDSA’s Digital Preservation) will take place in St. Louis, Missouri on November 12-16, 2023. We understand concerns raised by our community and share their dismay at these discriminatory laws and the harm they cause to the trans community in Missouri and beyond. 

We, like other organizations, are grappling with the difficulty of hosting events in states with restrictive laws on reproductive, transgender, and other rights in times like these. We want to assure our community that the decision to host the 2023 CLIR events in St. Louis does not in any way condone or support the anti-trans healthcare laws passed in Missouri, but instead was made out of obligation to fulfill our pre-existing, legally-binding contracts. We unequivocally denounce these laws and stand in solidarity with trans people. CLIR/DLF remain committed to supporting and advocating for the rights of all individuals, regardless of gender identity or expression.

As we move forward with plans for the 2023 CLIR events, we will continue working with the Inclusivity at the DLF Forum subgroup of the Committee on Equity and Inclusion to prioritize the health and safety of attendees and ensure that the events will provide an inclusive and welcoming environment for our diverse community. We will remain vigilant and proactive in our efforts to support the trans community. 

We are grateful for community comments that have come in so far and welcome additional questions, comments, or suggestions by email at forum@diglib.org. Community feedback is important to us and will help us develop an action plan to be carried out before and during the CLIR events this fall. 

We invite you to visit our website to learn more about what is happening in Missouri, including articles, briefing, talks, and advocacy organizations to follow. 

We thank you for joining us in support of our trans community members and look forward to sharing our action plan with you over the coming months. 

– Team DLF

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