JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — A Missouri Senate panel met Wednesday to consider the Missouri Nondiscrimination Act or MONA (SB 237), which would bar discrimination in the state based on sexual orientation and gender identity in housing, employment and public accommodation.
The Senate Progress and Development Committee heard dueling testimony on the bill sponsored by Sen. Joseph Keaveny (D-St. Louis) — the legislation would add LGBT Missourians to the list of protected categories under the Missouri Human Rights Statute.
Several regional chambers in Missouri support MONA, including the Kansas City Chamber of Commerce, the Mid-America Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce, Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Greater Kansas City and the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of St. Louis.
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Among those testifying against the legislation was the Missouri Chamber of Commerce.
“It was sad today to see the Missouri Chamber take discrimination laws so lightly,” said Kyle Piccola, Senior Field Organizer for PROMO, Missouri’s statewide LGBT advocacy organization. “It goes to show how out of touch they are with the values of Missouri. We are thankful for the four chambers who have come out in support of MONA.”
PROMO has introduced MONA in every session since 1998 – In 2013, the legislation passed through the Senate but failed to reach the House floor.
To date, more than 700 businesses from across the state have pledged their support for a nondiscrimination law protecting gay and transgender citizens.