Missouri joins other states with bill that would enable businesses to discriminate based on religion

02/26/2014 3:10 PM

02/26/2014 5:50 PM

Letting Kansas go down the yellow-brick rat hole alone seems to never be good enough for some Missouri lawmakers.

They did it in disastrous, but thankfully failed, efforts to cut state taxes to the bone. Now, Missouri Sen. Wayne Wallingford, a Cape Girardeau Republican, has filed a bill that, if passed, would enable Missouri businesses to use their religious beliefs to refuse to provide service to people. What kind of people?

Good question. The proposal doesn’t mention sexual orientation, but it is similar to a measure that was passed by the Kansas House. That measure fortunately is held up in the Senate, where more reasonable heads have prevailed.

The Arizona Legislature passed a similar proposal. Gov. Jan Brewer is being urged by groups nationwide to veto the legislation or face losing millions of dollars in conventions canceling and even the Super Bowl picking another place to play next year.

Missouri joins the pack of people willing to discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation at a time when several states are making same-sex marriage legal and federal courts are overturning state laws against gay marriage. Texas was the latest state where a federal court overturned the law.

Others include Utah, Oklahoma and Virginia.

It seems incongruous that lawful discrimination against gays would be proposed in Missouri using religion as the justification. The second most popular religion in Missouri — Mizzou football — embraced Michael Sam, an all-American defensive end at the University of Missouri, when he went public earlier this month, telling the world that he is gay.

If it is all good in sports, it should be just as acceptable everywhere else.


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