STL Post-Dispatch Letter to the Editor: Amend then pass Missouri Nondiscrimination Act

I found a bit of comfort in Jack Suntrup’s roundup of Gov. Eric Greitens’ relative ineffectiveness over the past year (“Sound and fury,” Dec. 11). Maybe, just maybe, his trajectory will continue, and we can swing back to a Democratic governor.

However, one of Greitens’ more disturbing moments was omitted from this year-end roundup: his signing of SB 43, which in effect makes it harder to pursue litigation for cases of discrimination. This change to the Missouri Human Rights Act means that discrimination must be the “motivating factor” for a wage gap, firing, or denial of access to public accommodations, rather than a contributing factor.

 

This distinction is a scary one in the Trump era, particularly when just days ago, the Supreme Court heard arguments for the Masterpiece Cakeshop case. The Show-Me state is long overdue to pass the Missouri Nondiscrimination Act, which would add sexual orientation and gender identity to the protected classes included in our state Human Rights Act. Both Sen. Jill Schupp and Rep. Tom Hannegan have prefiled bills for the 2018 session.

 
 

We must call on our state lawmakers to revise the nondiscrimination act so that it removes the “motivating factor” component in the Missouri Human Rights Act and  include our LGBT brothers and sisters in our officially protected classes.

 

By revising and passing the nondiscrimination act, we can send Gov. Greitens the message that we are not asleep here in Missouri. We see through his tough, no-nonsense facade. We have had enough of him, even after just one year.

Molly Pearson  •  St. Louis

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