Missouri House votes down protecting its own LGBTQ employees

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Missouri State Capitol

Missouri State Capitol (Photo via Pixabay)

JEFFERSON CITY — The Missouri House of Representatives on Tuesday voted against protections for House LGBTQ workers, bucking a trend in the other direction from surrounding states.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported that the house voted down a proposal from State Rep. Greg Razer, a gay Democrat from Kansas City. He’d wanted to add protections to the House’s rule manual.

From the St. Louis Post-Dispatch:

The Missouri Human Rights Act already forbids employment discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, ancestry, sex, disability and age — meaning legislators already cannot discriminate against their employees for those reasons.

But state law does not include protections for sexual orientation. Razer’s proposal would only have affected House rules, not state statute.

Rep. Curtis Trent, R-Springfield, said he worried peoples’ “religious liberty” would be encroached upon if the proposal were to take effect. He worried such changes invite litigation and would spur efforts to include protections for other groups in the law.

“This should be a question that’s answered by all of society and we should have a broad consensus before we move in any direction beyond where we’re at right now,” Trent said.

The proposal was voted down in a voice vote.

In the past two weeks, governors in Wisconsin, Michigan, Minnesota and Kansas have instituted job protections for LGBTQ state employees.

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