Missouri considers passing anti-gay bill to protect religious freedom

Missouri considers passing anti-gay bill to protect religious freedom

Missouri senator Wayne Wallingford has proposed a bill that would allow business owners to refuse to cater to homosexual couples, using religious belief as a justification, and takes away a homosexual person’s ability to sue the company for doing so. This was inspired by a similar bill proposed in Arizona. The bill will only further exclusion and discrimination against LGBT people rather than progressing forward.

Currently, there is no legal protection against unfair treatment for LGBT people in Missouri. Marriage is still recognized in the state as the union of a man and a woman, thanks to Amendment 2 passed in 2004. Until 2006, “deviate sexual intercourse” (in other words, sexual relationships between homosexual couples) was criminalized. This is clear, blatant discrimination and is eerily reminiscent of the treatment of African Americans before the Civil Rights Movement.

This bill is, to be put simply, a step backwards. The right to religious freedom is rendered null if it is being used to oppress another group. We need to be taking steps forward. LGBT people should be allowed to spend their money wherever they please, and they deserve to have their marriages recognized just as much as a straight couple does.

LGBT people deserve protection against discrimination. Sexual orientation is not a choice, or a trend, or a sin, nor is it hurting any religious people. It does not warrant unfair treatment and it shouldn’t even be debated anymore. The bill should not be passed and LGBT people should just be given their basic human rights.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official position of the Parkway School District.