Missouri Republicans presented SJR 39 as a “religious freedom” bill, and to the extent that it seeks to “protect” clergy from being punished by the government for their refusal to perform same-sex weddings, it is. Except that when you consider that in a country with a First Amendment that has forever protected religious freedom, it’s inconceivable that Missouri’s government would ever consider forcing clergy to perform same-sex weddings if it violated their religious tradition.
This charade being brought forward by Missouri Republicans and their most religiously fervent voters are to use this bill as a straw man that allows them to do what the amendment actually intends: allow private businesses to discriminate against gay people.
It’s not too late. Reach out to your MO state senators and let your voice be heard. Should SJR 39 become law, Missouri will be a place that not only refuses to protect gays from discrimination but also creates a specific protected class for bakers, photographers, and florists who refuse to provide their business services to gay people.
Pictured is Senator Bob Onder, R-Lake Saint Louis on the left and Senate Majority Leader Mike Kehoe, R-Jefferson City on the right.
— Maurice ‘Moe’ Parisien