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Mo. Hispanic business community supports LGBT non-discrimination bill

Tuesday, April 22, 2014
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ST. LOUIS, Mo. — Missouri’s Hispanic business community is coming out in support of a proposed statewide LGBT-inclusive non-discrimination bill.

Missouri state capitol in Jefferson City.

Missouri state capitol in Jefferson City.

The Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Greater Kansas City and the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan St. Louis have penned letters to Missouri lawmakers in support of the Missouri Non-discrimination Act (MONA).

MONA, introduced in both chambers of the Legislature in February, would add sexual orientation and gender identity to Missouri’s Human Rights statute, which currently prohibits discrimination in employment, housing and public accommodations for other categories, including race, biological sex and familial status.

The bill would expand the definition of discrimination to include any unfair treatment based on a person’s “presumed or assumed” characteristics.

“By including sexual orientation and gender identity in the Human Rights Statute, the Missouri Non-discrimination Act will ensure that Missouri remains competitive and attracts new companies and talent to our state,” wrote the Kansas City Chamber.

“In order to have a strong, productive workforce in Missouri that will continue to grow, workers must be assured protection from employers that choose to discriminate on factors other than those tied to employment,” echoed the St. Louis Chamber.

Collectively, the two chambers boast more than 1,600 members dedicated to the advancement, promotion and economic development within the Hispanic market and business community.

Over 450 Missouri-based companies from across the state, including two of the Fortune 500, are now voicing support for the bill.

Committees in both the state House and Senate have heard testimony on MONA over the past two months. Last year, the legislation passed through the Senate but failed to reach the House floor.

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