JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. - Missouri’s 2017 legislative session begins today with four anti-LGBT bills that were pre-filed in December.

 

There are two anti-transgender bills that include language restricting public restroom or school restroom use by transgender individuals.


SB 98 introduced by Sen. Ed Emery (R-31-Lamar) which reads:


Requires that all school restrooms, locker rooms, and shower rooms accessible for use by multiple students shall be designated for and use by male or female students only.


HB 202 introduced by Rep. Jeff Pogue (R-143-Salem) which reads:


Requires all public restrooms, other than single occupancy restrooms, to be gender-divided.


Similar versions of these same bills were filed by the same legislators last year.


Also pre-filed are two bills both focusing on religious exemption and marriage.


HB 205 introduced by Rep. Jeff Pogue (R-143-Salem) which reads:


Allows a person authorized to solemnize marriages to refuse to solemnize a marriage which is contrary to the religious beliefs or sincerely held moral convictions of such person.


HB 62 introduced by Rep. T.J. Berry (R-38-Kearney) which reads:


Changes the laws regarding marriage and replaces marriage licenses with contracts of domestic union.


This is following a year in which SJR 39, a proposed constitutional amendment allowing businesses to refuse services to same-sex couples based on religious beliefs, made its way quickly through the legislative process, quickly gaining national attention from a historic filibuster led by Missouri Democrat Senators. SJR 39, as well as 15 other anti-LGBT bills, did not pass in 2016.


PROMO, Missouri's statewide LGBT advocacy organization, will once again actively work to defeat these bills in 2017.


“With more anti-LGBT bills than this time last year, we know 2017 will be another challenging year in the Capitol for LGBT equality," said Steph Perkins, Executive Director of PROMO. "Instead of attacking transgender students or marriage equality, which is already the law of the land, Missouri lawmakers should work to pass bills like the Missouri Nondiscrimination Act (MONA), ensuring hardworking Missourians, including those who are gay or transgender, have the same opportunities to have a job and provide for their families.”

 

 

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