The forces of good recently defeated a homophobic bill in Kansas. Unfortunately, now Missouri wants to get in the act.
new bill promoted this week in the Show-Me State
by GOP Sen. Wayne Wallingford of Cape Girardeau purports to protect the “religious freedom” of people.
This is code for saying the state would like to legally allow people and businesses to discriminate against gay people.
That would be a wrong and ugly turn for the worse in Missouri when it comes to equal treatment of all. State lawmakers should not even give this measure a hearing.
It also would be an anti-employment bill, because as corporate leaders have pointed out elsewhere, they don’t want their employees citing vague “religious beliefs” in turning down opportunities to serve the paying public.
A similar ill-conceived measure recently passed the GOP-dominated Kansas House, but
the adults in the state Senate said
that the measure would not be going anywhere.
There, too, business leaders came out of the woodwork to publicly make their opposition known to the measure, even though some in the Kansas House had coolly assured colleagues everyone was behind such a discriminatory issue. Apparently, they weren’t, and the good guys so far are winning that battle in Kansas.
Meanwhile, in Arizona,
Republican Gov. Jan Brewer on Tuesday reportedly
was leaning toward vetoing yet another similar measure that state legislators recently approved.
Why? Again, the almighty dollar looms large in Brewer’s decision.
She knows — as should Missouri lawmakers — that making it legal to discriminate against people is the wrong way for a state to be behaving in 2014.