Anti-LGBT Ballot Initiative Officially Fails in Missouri Legislature

By Megan Clayton • May 6, 2016 • 10:20 am

Missouri’s SJR-39, which would have placed a proposed constitutional amendment on the ballot allowing small businesses and individuals to refuse services to LGBT Missourians, has officially failed in the Missouri Legislature!

MissouriVictorySJR39

Last week, lawmakers in the Missouri House Emerging Issues Committee voted 6-6 on the bill; the tie vote meant to the bill would not advance to the full House. However, now that Missouri’s legislative session is officially over, there is no possible way it can advance to the ballot this year.

If SJR-39 had passed, the bill would have placed a proposed constitutional amendment on the ballot allowing small businesses and individuals to refuse services to LGBT Missourians. But now, thanks to the tens of thousands of Missourians who spoke out, this dangerous bill won’t live to see another day.

Missouri Governor Jay Nixon—who had opposed the SJR-39—weighed in after it appeared last week that the bill would not advance:

“This is an important moment. Today’s action – to reject discrimination – will stand as an enduring example of goodness and of growing beyond past prejudices, while protecting people’s right to practice their faith. I thank everyone who was involved in this effort to protect the rights of all Missourians and stop this discriminatory measure.”

Before last week’s vote on the bill, several lawmakers on the Emerging Issues Committee revealed the moving stories behind their decision to vote against SJR-39. Read more about the vote here.

Cheers to everyone who worked so hard to fight against SJR-39, including Freedom for All Americans’ partners at PROMO Missouri and the ACLU of Missouri. Their hard work has paid off in this great step forward, proving that when a broad coalition of business owners, LGBT people and allies stand together with one voice, lawmakers listen.


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