JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — Missouri is adding to the wave of anti-equality legislation being filed across the nation with the introduction of eight bills targeting the LGBT community thus far this legislative session.
Would allow student organizations with “sincerely held religious beliefs” to discriminate in membership of the group without penalty from the associated university.
HB 104 forces Universities to fund discriminatory organizations on campus and exempts religious organizations from nondiscrimination policies. This bill has advanced furthest of any. The third reading of this bill in the House was tThursday and now heads to the Senate for consideration.
Would make it illegal for public employees to issue or partake in issuing a marriage license to a same-sex couple.
HB 1337, Rep. Jeff Pogue (R-Salem):
Allows a person authorized to solemnize marriages to refuse to solemnize a marriage which is contrary to the religious beliefs or sincerely held moral convictions of such person.
HB 1338, Rep. Jeff Pogue (R-Salem):
Requires all public restrooms, other than single occupancy restrooms, to be gender-divided restrooms.
HB 1339, Rep. Jeff Pogue (R-Salem):
Prohibits the appropriation or expenditure of state revenues for the purpose of creating a gender-neutral environment, unless required by a federal or state court order.
“These types of bills are happening all over the country,” said A.J. Bockelman, executive director of PROMO, a statewide LGBT advocacy group.
“With all the advancement on marriage, bills trying to continue marginalization of the LGBT community are expected. Opponents are lashing out, desperate for any attempt to stop progress. It’s like the last dying breath of a wounded animal. But make no mistake, justice and equality will prevail,” said Bockelman.