In Late-Night, 4-Hour Hearing, Missouri Business Leaders Fight for Non-Discrimination

By Adam Polaski • April 13, 2016 • 3:30 pm

Last night, April 12, Missouri business leaders and other residents and advocates opposed to SJR-39 – which would place a proposed constitutional amendment on the ballot allowing small businesses and individuals to refuse services to LGBT Missourians – came out in force last night for a House hearing. The measure passed the Senate last month despite a historic 40-hour filibuster from a group of dedicated senators opposed to the bill. The hearing last night ran for four hours and stretched into the morning of April 13.

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The hearing took place in the House Emerging Issues committee, and lawmakers could vote on the bill in the coming days. Should it pass, it would then move to the General Laws committee for further consideration. If it is approved there, it would come before the full House. Governor Jay Nixon is opposed to SJR 39 – but he cannot veto the bill should it hit his desk since it calls for a constitutional amendment.

This week more than 100 companies came together to announce their participation in Missouri Competes, a nonpartisan business coalition comprised of organizations that oppose SJR 39. Members of Missouri Competes include MasterCard, Dow Chemical, Marriott, Geotechnology, Hyatt Hotels, Monsanto, Google Fiber, Express-Scripts, Salesforce, Pfizer, Purina Nestle, the Kansas City Chamber of Commerce, the Greater St. Charles County Chamber of Commerce and the St. Louis Regional Chamber of Commerce.

Freedom for All Americans Executive Director Matt McTighe said today:

“Businesses from across the country and across the state have united in opposition to SJR 39, and lawmakers should heed their warning and consider the implications this legislation would have on Missouri’s economy. We need look no further than North Carolina or Georgia to know how this will play out if lawmakers chose to move this discriminatory legislation forward. House leadership should do the right thing and reject SJR 39 once and for all.”

Check out the Missouri Competes website here.


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