Since the American Civil Liberties Union opened its doors in 1920, defending the rights of LGBT people has been at the forefront of our organization’s priorities.

The first LGBT rights case was brought by the ACLU in 1936. Today, we’ve litigated more LGBT rights cases nationally than any other organization.

ACLU of Missouri has worked steadfastly to defend civil liberties for all Missourians, regardless of who they love. 

We’re proud of our groundbreaking legacy, both nationally and here in Missouri.

In 1986, as ACLU founded the LGBT Project, ACLU of Missouri was instrumental in removing the unconstitutional “masquerading ordinance” in the city of St. Louis. This law made crossdressing a misdemeanor.

Since then, we’ve worked on many more cases in defense of our LGBT family, friends and neighbors.

In October 2014, the ACLU of Missouri won an historic case, Barrier v. Vasterling, which obligated Missouri to recognize the marriages of same-sex couples who were legally wed outside the state.

This case provided critical work for an ACLU National case that made it all the way to the Supreme Court of the United States: Obergefell v. Hodges. This landmark case held the fundamental right to marry is guaranteed to same-sex couples, making marriage equality the law of the land.

ACLU of Missouri's newest initiative, The Transgender Education and Advocacy Program, seeks to raise awareness about the challenges faced by the transgender community and challenge barriers to equality in our state.

We’ve created an interactive history of ACLU of Missouri’s work for LGBT rights where you can learn more about our history of working toward equality in Missouri.

While we’ve made progress, we know there is much work to be done.

Missouri allows individuals to change their gender markers and legal names on driver's licenses and birth certificates but the processes are each separate, convoluted, and needlessly complex.

Missouri does not offer explicit protections against discrimination for gender identity or sexual orientation in employment, housing, or public accommodation.  This must end.

We will continue to seek anti-discrimination protections for LGBT people and communities across our state. We’ll never stop defending the rights of all Missourians.  

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