Missouri Senate Passes Anti-Gay Religious Freedom Bill

Missouri Senate Passes Anti-Gay Religious Freedom Bill

Missouri Senate Passes Anti-Gay Religious Freedom Bill
By Visitjeffersoncity (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 or GFDL], via Wikimedia Commons
After a day and a half filibuster, the Missouri State Senate passes a controversial religious bill.

After an epic 39-hour filibuster attempt failed, the Missouri senate has passed a controversial religious freedom bill that opponents claim discriminates against gay people.

Missouri Senate Passes Anti-Gay Religious Freedom Bill[/tweetthis]

The bill states that clergy and business owners in the state have the right to refuse to work with homosexuals if they believe it contradicts their religion. The bill was supported by the Republican majority in the state senate.

As Democrats attempted to debate the bill, claiming that it was in fact a method of hate masked as religious freedom, many Republicans took to playing cards with each other, taking turns to try on a Beetlejuice costume someone had brought in, or simply napping in their offices.

After almost forty hours, though, Republicans voted to stop the filibustering and move the bill to a final vote. Here, it was passed by a 23 to 9 vote, and will be placed on the state ballot later on in the year. Considering their large majority in the Missouri senate, the Democrats’ movement seemed doomed to failure from the start, hence their lengthy attempt at filibustering.

Democratic senator Maria Chappelle-Nadal, who played her part by speaking for 13 hours during the debate, criticized Republicans for failing to take part in discussions, saying that their behavior did “a serious injury to the Senate,” and that they were “acting like house members.”

While supporters of the bill have claimed that it merely reinforces their constitutional rights, critics have decried it as a means of discriminating against gay people legally. The bill has attracted criticism from groups across the country.

This bill follows similar legislation in Kentucky and Indiana, which has faced similar criticism from LGBT groups and the wider community alike. Supporters, however, claim that such legislation merely protects their religious freedom.


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