JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. - Missouri Governor Jay Nixon renewed his call for LGBT protections in his final State of the State address to Missourians last night by offering strong support for the Missouri Nondiscrimination Act (MONA).

“I repeat my call for the General Assembly to pass the Missouri Nondiscrimination Act, which would prohibit discrimination against LGBT Missourians in employment, housing and public accommodations," Nixon asserted.

This is the second time since 2014 that Governor Nixon, a Democrat, mentioned LGBT issues in his annual address to the Missouri General Assembly. Nixon also mentioned marriage equality in his address on Wednesday.

“In July, I signed an executive order to ensure compliance with the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision establishing a right to same-sex marriage," said Nixon. "No one should be discriminated against because of who they love. We’ve come a long way on this issue, but there is more to be done. It is unacceptable that Missourians can still be fired for being gay. That’s wrong, it’s not who we are – and it must change.”

MONA, which would prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity in employment, housing and public accommodations, has already been filed in the Senate (SB653) by State Sen. Joseph Keaveny (D-St. Louis). The perennial legislation has been introduced in both houses of the General Assembly since 1998.

Missouri law currently prohibits discrimination based on race, color, religion, national origin, ancestry, sex, age as it relates to employment, disability, and familial status as it relates to housing. This legislation would add to the list a prohibition against discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. In 2013, the Senate advanced nondiscrimination for the first time in Missouri history.

“We applaud Governor Nixon for urging the legislature to pass the Missouri Nondiscrimination Act in tonight's State of the State address. We are grateful to have a Governor who proactively speaks out and works to ensure that all hardworking Missourians, including those who are gay or transgender, have the opportunity to work, live, and provide for their families,” stated Steph Perkins, Interim Executive Director of PROMO.

PROMO's annual LGBT Equality Lobby Day will be held on Feb. 16, 2016 at the Missouri State Capitol in Jefferson City.



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