Maplewood Council Member Karen Wood answers questions on LGBT issues

Maplewood Ward 1 Council Member Karen Wood — running for re-election in April — responded by email to 40 South to questions from a resident on her current position on LGBT issues. The question referred to the fact that in 2012 Wood voted against a bill that protects Maplewood citizens on the basis of both sexual orientation and gender identity.

Council member Wood’s response:

This is a response to a letter posted last night by 40 South News from Andrew Herbig.

Dear Mr. Herbig,

This is a response to your letter posted Friday evening by 40 South News regarding the gender identity Bill 5877.

In answer to your question, I am not personally aware of any unintended consequences that occurred as a result of how this ordinance was written and if I were to vote on it today I would vote in favor of it.

As your pointed out this was 7 years ago and I pride myself on the fact that I continue to learn and grow as I serve the residents of this community that I love.

Thanks for your letter allowing me to clear up any misunderstanding you may have had.
If you have any additional concerns or questions you  can reach me at 314-647-1559 or


Karen Wood
Council member, Ward 1

15 thoughts on “Maplewood Council Member Karen Wood answers questions on LGBT issues

  1. Genitalia and potty obsessed liberals sometimes can’t grasp the idea that a significant segment of the population do not care about your LGBT issues. We don’t want to hear about it, deal with it, or get involved with the issue, period. Doesn’t make me a racist or an anything. It’s just as much my right to avoid it as it is your right to put it out there. Don’t label me because I don’t care. Again, were I running for office in a municipal election and were asked about my stance on LGBT, I’d ignore the question and live with the consequences. Zoning, budget, schools, public safety, parks, storm water bring it….LGBT? Not my problem!

  2. Unfortunately, and as I suspected, Maplewood still has a few ignorant and bigoted people like Mr. Completely. Basic civil rights are everything to a municipality, a state, and a country. The candidate didn’t ignore the question because she knows this is an important issue. I am glad that from what I can see that things are changing and that younger and open-minded people are moving into Maplewood and the old guard is dying off or leaving.

    • You’re happy David that people who you think are wrong on an issue are dying? Guess its good for many of us that you’re not in charge. You concluded I’m a bigot and ignorant too? I guess I’m not entitled to the “basic civil rights” you champion, huh? Hey everybody lets put David in charge of civil rights, he’ll be fair. Get over yourself.

      • If you think your rights were violated by being called ignorant, I don’t think you understood the “basic civil rights” you are quoting. You are not free from being called ignorant or a bigot, whether or not you are one. Perhaps David’s delivery wasn’t as kind as you would have preferred, but your “basic civil rights” remain intact and unharmed.

  3. I’ve yet to meet a single issue voter in a municipal election that would plant their flag in LGBT. If I were a candidate I would have ignored the question. Next it’ll be gee I wonder what my alderman thinks about abortion? NEXT!

    • Is that because you don’t interact with the LBGT community?

      I know plenty of people in Maplewood who would vote against someone who does not support the LGBT community. I am one of them. A local city council member can definitely make a difference for the LGBT community. Abortion legislation is mandated first by the feds, then the state. Not much a local council member could do to change that without being struck down by the law. A council member certainly can create legislation that gives additional protections to the LGBT community.

      For example: Missouri law does not address discrimination based on gender identity or sexual orientation.

      Maplewood is now among a handful of municipalities in the St. Louis area to pass an ordinance preventing sexual orientation and gender identity discrimination – but it wasn’t without controversy.

      The new ordinance, which will be implemented in mid-October and adds sexual orientation and gender identity to the other types of discrimination already against the law, narrowly passed by a 4-3 vote at Maplewood’s Sept. 25 city council meeting.

      Council members Tim Dunn, Shawn Faulkingham and David Cerven voted for the measure. Mayor Jim White and council members Karen Wood and Fred Wolf voted against it.

    • State and federal law supersede any municipality’s laws on abortion. LGBT rights are not covered by Missouri state law. That is why Maplewood passed an ordinance preventing sexual orientation and gender identity discrimination. So this is an issue a local council member should be vetted on, unlike abortion. If my council member had voted against the LGBT ordinance I would not have voted for them in the next election. So hello, glad to meet you!

      Nick (an advocate that would certainly plant my LGBT flag on this issue)

      • Hi Nick, I’m curious if you find Ms. Wood’s new statement satisfactory? To me, it shows important progress from an elected official. And given the concerns about her opponent (asked to leave multiple civic organizations, blocking women on FB who support his opponent), it seems important to have someone self-aware and willing to grow.


        • I believe people have the capacity to change, for sure. I have no ill will towards Karen Wood, in fact I appreciate the work she has done for the city of Maplewood. It is true I disagree with the way she voted on an ordnance in 2012 but I take her at her word she has learned and grown since then.

          I know nothing of her opponent. I don’t live in ward 1. I do know and respect our Mayor and believe his endorsement of Karen is a good indicator of who I would be voting for if I did live in ward 1.

          My point was always to raise awareness that this issue does matter at a municipal level and there are people in Maplewood who do base their vote on LGBT issues. There was no intention of dragging Karen Wood “through the mud” with my statement. It was to make it clear to a certain vocal minority within 40 south’s comment section there are people who will vote in a manner to make sure Maplewood continues to be an inclusive community.

          I’m proud to be a Maplewood resident and I volunteer my time and expertise to the city to make it even better for everyone!