JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. - Missouri House Speaker John Diehl announced today he will resign his office and seat in the legislature following a story published by The Kansas City Star yesterday about sexually charged texts between him and a female college freshman in a Capitol internship. 
 
Diehl (R-Town and Country), who is married, has been a vocal opponent of LGBT equality in the General Assembly and often praised by state conservative groups for his "moral leadership." SpeakerDiehl
 
Earlier this year, Diehl and the president pro-tempore of the state Senate filed an amicus brief in defense of the state’s constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage, Right Wing Watch reports.  
 
 
“Missourians owe a debt of gratitude to Speaker of the House Tim Jones, Senate President Pro Tempore Tom Dempsey and Speaker of the House-designee John Diehl for intervening on behalf of the state in the Jackson County case where state Circuit Judge J. Dale Youngs ruled that 10 same-sex couples married in other states, but now living in Missouri, are entitled to the same benefits as heterosexual married couples,” said Don Hinkle, editor of the Missouri Southern Baptist newsletter The Pathway. “Their action took political courage and they are to be commended for their leadership.”
 
Diehl also co-sponsored a 2012 bill to ban Gay-Straight Alliances in public schools, which read: “Notwithstanding any other law to the contrary, no instruction, material, or extracurricular activity sponsored by a public school that discusses sexual orientation other than in scientific instruction concerning human reproduction shall be provided in any public school.”
 
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch at the time called it a “hateful and unconstitutional attack on individual rights” and slammed Diehl for backing “a loathsome bill in a cynical attempt to garner support from the right wing.”
 
 
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