In a piece in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, columnist Tony Messenger calls out Senate Joint Resolution (SJR) 39 – a measure that could enshrine discrimination against LGBT people and their families into the state constitution.
"For years the Legislature has refused to join 28 other states in passing a nondiscrimination act that protects gays and lesbians from discrimination in employment, housing, transportation or other areas of life," Messenger wrote. "So, should SJR 39 become law, Missouri will be a place that not only refuses to protect gays from discrimination but also creates a specific protected class for bakers, photographers and florists who refuse to provide their business services to gay people."
On Wednesday, Senate Republicans passed the resolution after the Senate Democrats led a historic filibuster effort to stop the anti-equality majority.
“Then the hammer was brought down by the president pro tem of the Senate, Ron Richard, R-Joplin, and the sponsor of Senate Joint Resolution No. 39, Sen. Bob Onder, R-Lake Saint Louis,” Messenger explained. “They broke their own rules to cut off debate and pass their resolution of hate.”
Messenger is not alone in speaking out against this dangerous bill. The discriminatory proposal has received widespread condemnation from fair-minded Missourians and businesses throughout the state, including Governor Jay Nixon, the St. Louis Regional Chamber, Dow Chemical Company and Monsanto. Democratic presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders also spoke out against the bill.
The discriminatory proposal now heads to the House of Representatives for consideration. If the House passes the resolution, it would go directly to the ballot and the governor would have no opportunity to veto it. Messenger urged Missouri businesses and citizens to take a stand to stop it.
“The clock is ticking, St. Louis. If every major St. Louis corporation used its megaphone, and directed its lobbyists to fight SJR 39, it could be stopped in a heartbeat,” he concluded. “Missouri Republicans are coming for your neighbors, for your employees, for your sons and daughters. Who will speak for them, if not you?”