ENG: Jolie L. Justus (born February 24, 1971 in Kansas City, Missouri) is an American lawyer and politician from Missouri. A Democrat, she is a member of the Missouri State Senate, representing the state's 10th District in Kansas City.
Early life and career
A lawyer by trade, she was raised in Branson, Missouri where she attended Branson High School. She then went on to earn degrees at Southwest Missouri State University in Springfield and the University of Missouri–Kansas City School of Law. She now works for the Kansas City law firm of Shook, Hardy & Bacon, serving as Director of Pro Bono Services.
She was elected to the Senate in 2006, winning the Democratic primary election held on August 8, 2006 with 33% of the vote in a four-candidate field. Her nearest contender, former state representative Jason Klumb, got 30%.
She was widely regarded as the most progressive candidate in the race, supporting minimum wage increases, abortion rights and stem cell research. In the general election, she faced only nominal Republican opposition in what is one of the state's most reliably Democratic districts. She defeated her Republican opponent Jerry Mounts by 72% to 28%. She took office in January 2007.
A lesbian, she married Shonda Garrison in Iowa when that state legalized same-sex marriage in 2009. They live together in downtown Kansas City and have one daughter.
Justus was the first openly gay member of the Missouri Senate and only the third ever publicly gay member of the Missouri General Assembly, after Representatives Tim Van Zandt (D-Kansas City) and Jeanette Mott Oxford (D-St.
Louis). In the 2011–12 biennium, she serves as one of three openly LGBT legislators, alongside Mott Oxford and Rep. Mike Colona (D-St. Louis). Her campaigns have won the support of the Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund. In 2009, Senator Justus was named to The Advocate's "Forty Under 40" list, a list of forty young leaders of the LGBT community.