Missouri Gets "Gay Segregation" Bill Introduced
Add Missouri to the list of states embarrassing themselves this year with bills that recall the Jim Crow era of segregation. Missouri State Senator Wayne Wallingford admits he was inspired by the bills in Kansas and Arizona before introducing his own "Fundamental Christians Only" legislation, which uniquely leaves a broad interpretation of who can be discriminated against by religious business owners and employees in the Show Me State.
“We’re trying to protect Missourians from attacks on their religious freedom,” Wallingford said.
Opponents contend bills like Wallingford’s would allow businesses to discriminate against anyone they do not like, most notably gays and lesbians.
“It’s a legislative attempt to legalize discrimination toward (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) individuals,” said A.J. Bockelman, executive director of the LGBT rights organization PROMO.
Wallingford said he based the bill loosely on legislation that has been debated in other states, such as Kansas and Arizona. He pointed to instances that have cropped up in debate in those other states.