A Missouri House committee has approved legislation which would grant special rights to homosexuals in employment situations. The bill adds the term "sexual orientation" and the concept of "gender identity" to the state's employment discrimination laws. Should the bill
pass, businesses and organizations would have the choice of hiring avowed homosexuals or facing likely lawsuits charging unlawful discriminatory practice.
The legislation, House Bill 1850, was endorsed by the House Urban Issues Committee on a vote of 5-4. The bill is sponsored by Representative Stephen Webber of Columbia, and is co-sponsored by 52 of the 74 Democratic members of the Missouri House of Representatives.
Under current law, it is an unlawful employment practice for an employer to "fail or refuse to hire or to discharge any individual...because of such individual's race, color, religion, national origin, sex, ancestry, age, or disability." These conditions are usually described as immutable characteristics, with the exception of religious
belief, which is a constitutionally protected form of expression. Webber's bill would add the term "sexual orientation" to this list. The result would be that for the first time individuals would have anti-discrimination protection based on their conduct, in this case their sexual conduct.
The term "sexual orientation" is defined in the bill as "male or female heterosexuality, homosexuality, or bisexuality by inclination, practice, identity, or expression, or having a self image or identity not traditionally associated with one's gender." The adoption of this definition by the Legislature would accomplish two goals of the gay rights movement in Missouri: 1) Ratification in the law of the false theory that homosexuality in an inbred inclination, and yet another immutable characteristic, and 2) Acknowledgement in the law that a person's gender is whatever a person asserts it to be.
Webber's bill has been pushed hard by PROMO, the homosexual rights organization in Missouri. Similar laws
have been adopted in 20 other states. President Obama has also been pushing Congress to adopt a similar federal law known as ENDA, the Employment Non-Discrimination Act.
The legislation would also make it illegal to refuse to rent or sell property to a person or persons because of their "sexual orientation." It would also require that no individual can be denied "full and equal use" of any place of public
accommodation in the state based on their "sexual orientation" or "gender identity", which would include public restrooms.
Supporters of the legislation claim that the new "sexual orientation" provisions would not apply to religious
institutions. Current law excludes "corporations and associations owned and operated by religious or sectarian groups" from the law's provisions. Yet nowhere in the law is the phrase "religious or sectarian group" defined. Many Christian ministries and businesses are not owned and operated by a "religious or sectarian group." Christian educational institutions may or may not meet the definition prescribed in the law.
The Missouri Human Rights Commission is responsible for enforcing the state's anti-discrimination laws. If the bill passed, its duties would include "to seek to eliminate and prevent discrimination because of...sexual orientation." The Commission also would have the power "to issue publications and and the results of studies and research
which will tend to promote goodwill" to individuals of all "sexual orientations." It can be expected that the Commission would be pressured to use bogus studies to promote the virtues of the
homosexual lifestyle in the employment community and the state's public school system. Christians are already the victims of pro-homosexual "diversity training" in many employment settings.
The House Urban Issues Committee, which approved the homosexual rights measure, is constituted in an unusual manner. It is chaired by a Democrat, Representative Ted Hoskins, despite the fact that the Missouri House is under the control of the Republicans. It is composed of an equal number of Democrats and Republicans, despite the fact that the House has a majority of Republicans. In addition to Hoskins, Representatives Michael Brown, Leonard Hughes, Kate Meiners, and Hope Whitehead
voted for the bill. Representatives Jason Brown, Jeff Grisamore, Andrew Koenig, and Mike Leara voted against the bill. Representative Tim Flook was not present for the vote.
A Missouri Senate committee has heard a similar bill in that chamber, sponsored by Senator Jolie Justus. The Progress and Development Committee has taken no action on that measure.
We urge you to contact your state representative and urge them to oppose House Bill 1850. Homosexuals should not receive preferential treatment in Missouri employment
law based on their sexual preference or conduct. Nor should public
accommodations be open to all individuals based on their self-professed "gender identity."
You can contact your state representative by using the following link. If you do not know your state representative, you can use the "legislator lookup" feature on the Missouri House website.