Missouri lacks protections for LGBTQ individuals under their current civil rights laws and while the Missouri Nondiscrimination Act, or MONA, has been a thought within MO legislature, it has never been passed. It is no surprise as to why that is, as Missouri House lawmakers gave a platform to Ron Calzone, director of Missouri First, to spread his bigotry, as he believes that he has a God-given right to discriminate against LGBTQ people, according to Think Progress.
His exact words are “I believe that we have a God-given right to discriminate… We actually have a God-given responsibility, a duty, to sometimes discriminate.” Is that in the bible? Or is he just using his religious beliefs to justify his intolerance? I’m willing to bet money that it’s the latter. The group that he directs, Missouri First, appears to be filled with people who don’t understand the Establishment Clause as they wish to “dispel the false notions about ‘separation of church and state’” and also tries to use property laws as justification for discriminating based on race, religion, and gender. What century is this again?
Calzone goes on to explain what he meant by his having a God-given right to discriminate by saying that a restaurant owner shouldn’t have to serve someone with freckles if they don’t like people with freckles. What does having freckles and being gay have in common? They’re both not a choice so what he basically said is that who he can discriminate against is based on whether or not he likes them or not. Does that seem like an odd metric to anyone else? Whether he likes it or not, he’s not above the law but he sure seems like he wants to affect Missouri law by making it so anyone can discriminate against anyone if they think they’re icky.
Greg Razer, an openly gay member of the Missouri General Assembly is frustrated by the committee’s “silence and inaction” in enacting LGBTQ protections. People have been trying to get the MONA passed for over 20 years and so far nothing has been done to expedite the process. Yes, this perpetual inaction would frustrate anyone who stands for equal rights.
Luckily not many Missourians will take Calzone’s views seriously, but the fact that there is a group of people that he directs that share similar views is cause for some slight concern. Hopefully not too many people will take Calzone seriously and realize that discrimination is not what God would want.