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Readers Strongly Opposed To Possible Missouri “Religious Freedom” Constitutional Amendment

March 16, 2016 Missouri, Politics/Policy, Religion 1 Comment

In August 2004 Missouri voters approved a state constitutional amendment that barred legal recognition of same-sex marriages, it passed with 71% support. This was ruled unconstitutional in June 2015 when the US Supreme Court ruled states cannot ban same-sex marriages. Eleven years.

Some view LGBT rights as an affront to their religion:

In 1993, the Religious Freedom Restoration Act was passed by the U.S. Congress and signed into law by President Bill Clinton. Originally, the federal law was intended to apply to federal, state, and local governments. In 1997, the U.S. Supreme Court in City of Boerne v. Flores held that the Religious Freedom Restoration Act only applies to the federal government, but not states and other local municipalities within them. As a result, 21 states passed state RFRAs before 2014.

In 2014, the United States Supreme Court handed down a landmark decision in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc. recognizing a for-profit corporation’s claim of religious belief. Nineteen members of Congress who signed the original RFRA stated in a submission to the Supreme Court that they “could not have anticipated, and did not intend, such a broad and unprecedented expansion of RFRA”. The members further stated that RFRA “extended free-exercise rights only to individuals and to religious, non-profit organizations. No Supreme Court precedent had extended free-exercise rights to secular, for-profit corporations.” Following this decision, many states have proposed expanding state RFRA laws to include for-profit corporations, including in Arizona where SB 1062 was passed but was vetoed by Governor Jan Brewer in 2014. (Wikipedia: Religious Freedom Restoration Act)

Which brings us to Indiana’s 2015 Religious Freedom Restoration Act:

After the law passed on March 26, 2015, reaction was swift, strong and negative, with cancellations of planned events and business expansions, travel bans and denunciations from across the spectrum: companies including Salesforce, Apple, Eli Lilly and Angie’s List; sports leagues including the NCAA, NBA and WNBA; states and municipalities coast to coast; rock concerts; comedy shows and church groups. (Forbes: Indiana’s Religious Freedom Act Cost Indianapolis $60 Million In Lost Revenue)

And now the Missouri legislature wants to join the cause, which will cost its two biggest and liberal cities. Kansas City & St. Louis.

Should either SB 916 or SJR 39 become law, Missouri could experience the same kind of backlash as Indiana. Expect cancellations of conventions in St. Louis and Kansas City. Businesses worried about protecting their reputations would put expansion plans on hold in Missouri. Lawsuits would ring down like thunder. (Post-Dispatch Editorial: The no-catering-gay-weddings issue comes to Missouri)

Thankfully the readers here are strongly opposed to such measures, from the Sunday Poll:

Q: Missouri is one step closer to having a “religious freedom” constitutional amendment on a ballot. Support or oppose such an amendment?

  • Strongly support 5 [10.2%] Note: one reader says he voted for this by mistake, wanted “Strongly oppose” instead.
  • Support 1 [2.04%]
  • Somewhat support 0 [0%]
  • Neither support or oppose 2 [4.08%]
  • Somewhat oppose 0 [0%]
  • Oppose 4 [8.16%]
  • Strongly oppose 37 [75.51%]
  • Unsure/No Answer 0 [0%]

If it clears the last vote in the legislature Gov Nixon can’t veto it — he can only decide if placed on the August or November ballot.

— Steve Patterson




Currently there is "1 comment" on this Article:

  1. gmichaud says:

    What we have is a paid off legislature that is no longer working for the people. Instead they are appointed by corporate interests and their paid proxies. The Missouri Legislature is nothing more than an absurd puppet show.


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