JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. - On Monday, the Missouri Nondiscrimination Act (MONA) was introduced in the Missouri House of Representatives for the 21st consecutive year. The LGBTQ nondiscrimination legislation was first introduced by former Rep. Steve McLuckie (D-44-Kansas City) in 1998.

MONA would add sexual orientation and gender identity to Missouri’s Human Rights Act, which currently prohibits discrimination in employment, housing, and public accommodations for other protected categories, including race, sex and national origin.

HB208 was pre-filed ahead of the 2019 legislative session, which begins on Jan. 9th, by openly gay Rep. Greg Razer (D-25-Kansas City).

There are over 1,200 businesses, including multiple Fortune 500 companies, in Missouri that continue to strongly urge the Missouri Legislature to pass MONA.

Last year, MONA was passed out of committee in the House for the first time in three years. In 2013, the Senate voted in favor of passing the legislation out of the full Senate Chamber.

Razer spoke about the Missouri Nondiscrimination Act in a wide-ranging interview with #Boom in October:

"This will be the 21st consecutive year MONA has been introduced. Including my time working from PROMO, I personally have been fighting to pass this legislation since 2004. Do I think we now have the votes in the House to pass it? Yes. What we need is for Missourians who support the legislation to reach out to officials in Jefferson City and voice their support. After I file the bill it's then up to incoming House Speaker Elijah Hahr to assign it to committee. The quicker he does that the better. People around the state can reach out to his office and encourage him to 'get MONA to committee'. Then we need citizens to call their legislators and express support for the bill. Here's the problem though, most of the people reading this are already represented by pro-LGBT members. So how do we reach suburban and rural legislators? I suspect many of you are like me - you grew up in rural Missouri - you have friends and family who are still there. We need to encourage our friends and family to reach out to their legislator. That suburban or rural legislator needs to hear from his/her constituent. They need to know that someone in their own district cares about LGBT issues, and is watching their vote on MONA. Only when those two things begin to happen will we see movement, because now these legislators are only hearing from the extreme right wing in their district when it comes to our issues. Let's change that."



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