BREAKING: Missouri House Panel Rejects Anti-LGBT “License To Discriminate” Bill In Split 6-6 Vote

Via press release from PROMO Missouri:

In a 6-6 vote this afternoon, the majority of the Emerging Issues Committee voted against SJR 39. The committee members that voted against SJR 39 are Rep. Jeremy LaFaver, Rep. Mike Colona, Rep. Jim Hansen, Rep. Sharon Pace, Rep. Caleb Rowden, and Rep. Anne Zerr.

SJR 39 has had national attention in light of the news of anti-LGBT bills in North Carolina and Mississippi passing. This pressure, as well as pressure from businesses across Missouri, put SJR 39 under a microscope in Jefferson City. Thousands of emails in opposition to SJR 39 were sent to committee members, and over 4,200 petitions opposing SJR 39 were delivered to the Speaker of the House.

The committee held a public testimony in an over-capacity room on April 12. The hearing lasted over four hours and nearly one-fourth of those there were able to speak. Businesses and organizations that provided testimony in opposition included Kansas City Chamber of Commerce, Kansas City Sporting Commission, St. Louis Sporting Commission, Monsanto, St. Louis Regional Chamber, and Visit KC. Overwhelmingly, businesses expressed concern that SJR 39 would have a negative impact on the economy.

We are grateful to the Emerging Issues committee for searching their hearts, listening to both sides of this issue, and doing the right thing today by opposing SJR 39.

From the Human Rights Campaign:

“We thank the House committee for listening to the overwhelming chorus of fair-minded Missourians, business leaders, and civil rights advocates who demanded they oppose this radical legislation that threatens severe harm to the entire state,” said JoDee Winterhof, HRC Senior Vice President for Policy & Political Affairs.“However, even with this vote today, we must remain diligent to ensure this discriminatory legislation does not move in any other way during the final two weeks of the legislative session.”

The opposition to SJR 39 was overwhelming. More than 60 leading CEOs and business executives signed onto an open letter urging lawmakers to stop the proposal that would have extreme negative consequences for Missouri’s economy, and numerous companies including Dow Chemical Company and Monsanto spoke out. In addition, SJR 39 has received widespread condemnation from fair-minded Missourians and civic leaders throughout the state, including Governor Jay Nixon, the St. Louis Post Dispatch, the St. Louis Regional Chamber. The St. Louis Regional Chamber said the proposal is “counter to MO values & will have negative economic consequences.” Both Democratic presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders also spoke out against the resolution.

  • kirtanloorii

    Nice! HB2 is next.

    • billbear1961

      A harder nut to crack, but cracked it must be!

      • Smokey
        • billbear1961



          • Smokey

            My niece retired last fall as a NYC Ballet principal dancer.

          • billbear1961

            That’s interesting!

            Did she dance in their 2014 Nutcracker?

          • Smokey

            I think so. She missed a few seasons since she started due to injuries.

  • Gustav2

    What’s a religious rightie to do? It’s almost like they are not the majority, even in what should be the Bible Belt!

    • KCMC

      Oh is all that. Business pressure heard/heeded.

    • Rex

      Cue the sadz from the usual suspects.

  • PickyPecker
    • PickyPecker
      • Lindyjbird

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  • coram nobis

    And that, QED, is why the business community dislikes this kind of legislation. It’s bad for business, and they see it sooner than the courts would get to the Commerce Clause arguments. It’s not the enlightened shift in public attitudes the LGBT might have sought, but it’ll do nicely.

    • Todd20036

      It’s actually a combination. Business is business. They sell stuff, people buy it.

      If people don’t buy their stuff, businesses fail.

      Used to be people would buy stuff from bigoted businesses.

      That is no longer true. People have become enlightened, so they won’t patronize bigoted businesses, and won’t buy their stuff.

      Therefore, if businesses want to sell their stuff, they cannot be bigoted.

      People DO become enlightened, and businesses follow them so they can get their money

      • IamM

        It is more than a little strange though that Americans are having to rely on corporations to protect us from our government.

    • Buford

      I agree. It’s shameful that bigotry is just not that big a concern unless/until it starts impacting revenues.

    • Henri205

      I did some contract work for MasterCard (its ops center is outside of St Louis) last year and was impressed with the organization in general. Very inclusive and there were many ‘family’ members around. Use your MasterCards, folks. VISA, of course, based in and around San Francisco is just as welcoming. You can use those cards in good conscience. And no, I don’t profit from these recommendations, I’m sorta done working.

    • GayEGO

      And in most cases we have seen the loss of money as more important to the Repugnantcans than anti-LGBT discrimination bills. They pretend to squawk loudly in favor of these bills but when the loss of money starts to occur they quietly cave.

      • coram nobis

        It looks like “In God We Trust” is a gospel we’ll be going forward with.

  • BearEyes

    6-6 is too close for comfort, but still glad it’s dead for this session.

    • JR

      This would have been far worse than NC’s law, since the MO version would have amended the State’s constitution — something much more difficult to repeal than a legislatively-enacted law.

      On the personal side, I’m very grateful to not have to endure another gut punch like the one we got in 2004 when the state banned same-sex marriage via a constitutional amendment.

      • Todd20036

        At least that was overridden

        • billbear1961

          Yes, but YEARS later, Todd.

          • JR

            And by the US Supreme Court, not by the voters of Missouri themselves.

          • billbear1961


          • kcken

            Yeah, it sucked. Bush needed the conservatives out to vote. I got robocalled about “the gays”… I was pissed…

      • billbear1961

        Very happy for you, JR!


        • JR

          Thank you! Tis a good day.

      • Jonty Coppersmith

        How many voting against were Republicans?

        • GayEGO

          I get confused when I see the word – Rep as I don’t know if they mean Representative so and so or Republican so and so.

      • GayEGO

        2004 is the year Massachusetts enacted marriage equality and my lifetime partner of 54 years got married. I guess we scared a lot of other states into making the horrendous anti-LGBT laws.

    • Chucktech

      Since when is a 6-6 tie vote enough to kill anything that even remotely quacks like a fag hate agenda? /s

      • Rex

        I know, they usually don’t let something like a tie vote keep their hate at bay.

        • Chucktech

          Really! A tie vote on homo hate means they get a mulligan and get to do it over.

      • Hank

        Unfortunately, with the current balance of SCOTUS, this is what we have to look forward to on a National level. In a 4-4 vote by SCOTUS, then the Federal Circuit Court’s opinion will stand.

    • NancyP

      Note that at least one of the people (Mike Colona) on the committee is friendly to the community and received financial and shoe leather (campaign volunteer) support from the St. Louis gay community. Pay attention to your local races and support politicians who support you.

  • TimCA

    Missouri took note. North Carolina boycotts and loss of business and tax revenue could have been in your future too. Good for you enough of your politicians realized this and did the right thing!

    • billbear1961

      But SOBs like PerKKKins will be scrambling behind the scenes, desperate to force some HATE through in the next 2 weeks!

      It is still a time of peril, Tim!

      We must hope the fanatics will continue to FAIL!

      They will be hissing like enraged SERPENTS!

      • AtticusP

        Oh, I sure hope so! I’m counting on it, in fact! 🙂

        • billbear1961

          Bring on the SADZ!

          It surprises me they haven’t been bitching about the pro-trans ruling by the 4th Circuit.

      • PickyPecker

        sad part is, dear bear, all this is a game for people like Perkkkins. He’s just in it to make CA$H, and nothing else.

        • billbear1961

          Yes, the reptile makes his living causing innocent people PAIN; and we live in a society that LETS him do it, Picky P!

        • Michael Rush

          Actually Mat Staver and Liberty Council have been behind most of these lawsuits , that was a story a short while back , it’s really the biggest news of the year and I feel like it kind of blew over .

          • Chucktech

            Thus, the American news cycle…

          • peacfulseas inWA

            Yes. This need to be pointed out more often to the simple minded that it is not their congress critters putting these bills together.

          • billbear1961

            Yes, it was reported on CBS news.

            I think Joe had a story about it.

      • TimCA

        Agreed. We shouldn’t delude ourselves that this represents some sort of final victory in this or other states were these type of laws are being contemplated. This is definitely not the time to mistakenly lull ourselves into complacency.

  • Phillip in L.A.

    Great news everyone!

    Seriously though, thanks to all who worked so hard to reach this conclusion

  • Blake Jordan

    It is good news no doubt, but it saddens me that what probably won them (6 of 12) over was the (potential) negative financial impact the law would have, and not a realization that they are actually hurting human beings with laws like this!!!

    • Mike__in_Houston

      “Any ladle’s sweet that dishes out some gravy.” I’ll take them doing the right thing for the wrong reasons any day over them doing the wrong thing for whatever reason. See coram nobis’ comment.

  • bkmn

    I saw on twitter earlier that the majority of the committee members did not support this bill, so I am glad it died. Don’t expect this to be the last effort from the haterz though.

    • billbear1961


      They’ll be back.

      They don’t stop until they’re told what they want to do is UNCONSTITUTIONAL.

      Then, they look for another way to cause as much GRIEF as they can.

      It won’t stop until federal protections are passed, or until the courts grant us heightened or strict scrutiny.

    • billbear1961

      There is no limit to their hateful vindictiveness, or their leaders’ GREED–for money and power.

  • oikos

    This is great news!

    Thank goodness HRC was there to issue a statement.

    • PickyPecker
      • oikos

        The attire is a tasteful republican lite. The Kirk collection.

      • billbear1961

        God, do I feel stupid for sending them–was it $22.22?–for a membership!

        It may have expired by now.

        You know, unlike MOST organisations, I don’t think they ever sent any mails.

        That seems weird.

        Then, again, I may have told them to leave me alone.

        I can’t remember!

        • HandyAndy

          You must have told them to leave you alone. I sent them $25 a couple of years ago, and I still get 2-3 pieces of mail per month to this day asking me to renew my membership, along with various stickers, address labels, plastic keychains and whatnot.

          • Tor

            They still send me stuff, after my one-year membership expired about 17 years ago.

          • billbear1961

            I must have!

    • Todd20036

      Oikos, did I ever tell you I love you for your cynical humor?

      • oikos

        No, but thank you, Todd.

      • billbear1961

        It’s not so much cynical as it is dry, always the best kind.

  • great news big thanks to everyone who helped get us to this point.

  • Rex

    I’m sure what’s happening in NC has NOTHING to do with this.

    • Blake Jordan

      Of course not, the sponsor of this Missouri bill said that the media was making “a mountain out of a mole hill” with regard to North Carolina, and that state is still doing well with all its cancelled conferences, etcetera.

      • Bj Lincoln

        That moron is not paying attention.

        • Chucktech

          Morons usually don’t.

          • Tor

            Morons don’t realize they are morons.

        • billbear1961

          Deliberately not paying attention!

        • Johnny Wyeknot

          That moron is truly a moran!

      • billbear1961

        SURE it is!

        *rolls eyes*

        That’s why the governor keeps squealing like a stuck PIG!!

        • TrollopeReader

          oh. i thought something else was making him squeal like that. my bad.


          • billbear1961

            The day you do anything wrong or bad, or make a serious mistake, I will be very much surprised, my sweet exemplar of all that is civilized.

        • GayEGO

          I think the governor was enjoying the insertion in his derriere! :>)

  • Phil Touchette

    My state doesn’t suck after all!!!

    • Johnny Wyeknot

      Let them know they did the right thing.

    • NancyP

      Write an email to one or more of the legislators thanking them

  • billbear1961
    • Did you know that the high C on a bassoon is almost indistinguishable from the low C of a flute (for certain limited definitions of flute) – this is used to great affect in Ravel’s Bolero. I am unable to hear the the difference but I have friends who say they can hear exactly when it happens?!?!

      This piece was written for an operetta never completed – the scene is a smokey cantina and each of the instruments are dancer moving in and out of the smoke – as much as I like “Allegro non troppo” I dearly love the image the Cantina scene brings to mind.

      I am going to go all fan-boy here and tell you about Piano Concerto for Left Hand – one of his friends joined the WAR as a pilot, was shot down, and lost his arm; his name was Paul Wittgenstein. Paul was a world class pianist but there was nothing for him to play after the war; Paul went to all the composers of the time asking for something that he could play. Ravel wrote the concerto for him – if you listen to it you can not tell that it is a one-handed piece. It is such a difficult piece that 2-handed pianists cheat – they grab the side of the piano with their right hand to help drag them up and down the keyboard.

      • matt227

        The bassoon is a little softer.

        • Ahh, woodwinds are ‘warmer’ tone! By the time the transition happens, I am too deep into the music.

  • fuzzybits
  • Ninja0980

    Great news, especially since this would have been much harder to overturn.

    • billbear1961

      Yes, they were all set to turn their state constitution into a goddamned Nazi rag–AGAIN–as they did with their marriage ban.

      The example of NC gave them cold feet!

      Thank the gods!

      Thank JUSTICE!!

      • JR

        Here’s hoping we make it thru the end of the session without them calling it back up. The possibility still exists that 55 Reps could resurrect it and bring it to a floor vote.

        • billbear1961

          Well, then, this isn’t really over, at all–not for another two weeks.

          The celebration is very premature.

      • One of those southern states (I forget which one and am too lazy to google) actually has to amend their constitution every time they pass a law. Talk about ‘yer living document’!

        Damn – is this another digression?

    • TuuxKabin

      How so? I only heard of it the other day, and saw no copy of the bill. What fresh hell was written in it to make it much harder?

  • Falconlights


  • Menergy

    How is a 6-6 split vote “the majority of the committee voted against the bill”? I’m confused, yet glad of course that the bill was killed (I guess it was, for the time being)

    • Chucktech

      Beat me to it. When it’s anything to do with hating homos, normally you need a super duper extra wide majority of legislators who’ve clearly lost their minds to kill it.

    • TrollopeReader

      Would it need a super-majority to become a ballot issue? Some states require that ….

  • bambinoitaliano

    Is that another political display to have it 6-6 tied so the RWNJ will save face?

    • Bruno

      Probably they killed it to avoid all the North Carolinaesque issues that would arise out of it, but did so in the narrowest possible way to allow as many Rethuglican legislators as possible on the committee to throw red meat to their base base.

  • Bj Lincoln

    Glad a tie killed the bill.

    • Chucktech

      I’m really shocked. Normally a tie in a Republican legislature for legislation that Republicans want is a Republican win. I’m sure it’s in the rule book somewhere…

  • KCMC

    Not in my state, MO proud!

  • LovesIrony

    Thank you Rep. Jeremy LaFaver, Rep. Mike Colona, Rep. Jim Hansen, Rep. Sharon Pace, Rep. Caleb Rowden, and Rep. Anne Zerr. You have saved your state the economic impact that NC is facing. Also thank you to all that put pressure on. Discrimination is not good for business.

  • JaniceInToronto

    FINALLY! Good news.

  • Octavio

    Well, that’s something at least. 🙂

  • JT

    So, the big MO is only half bigoted.

  • KnownDonorDad

    Missouri: the Pretty Much Split Down the Middle State.

  • bob

    Good ! With the exception of St Louis and Kansas City , Missouri is pretty backwards!

  • Gigi

    Good news for a change.

  • Johnny Wyeknot

    This, of course, should have been a no brainer.

  • Eriq von Hagen

    On the down side, Tennessee Gov. Haslam just signed a bill allowing therapists to turn away the sinful gays – most likely in the hope that they will off themselves.

  • Lindyjbird

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