The last day of the Missouri Legislative Session is today, and the Missouri Nondiscrimination Act (MONA) was not voted on this year. After 2013, when MONA passed in the Missouri Senate, and public support by over 540 Missouri businesses, there were high hopes that it would be voted on again in 2014. These businesses strongly urged the Missouri Legislature to pass the Missouri Nondiscrimination Act this year.
MONA would add sexual orientation and gender identity to Missouri’s Human Rights Statute, which currently prohibits discrimination in employment, housing, and public accommodations for other protected categories, including race, sex, and national origin. According to the Williams Institute, more than 160,000 LGBT adults in Missouri would benefit from an expanded state nondiscrimination law that includes sexual orientation and gender identity.
Since 1998, a form of nondiscrimination protections for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Missourians has been introduced at the Missouri State Capitol. The first bill sponsor was Steve McLuckie from Kansas City.
Despite it not receiving a vote, there was a lot of momentum around MONA this year. Over 540 businesses in Missouri, including multiple Fortune 500 companies, supported MONA in a coalition that was started with PROMO and Progress Missouri called
A.J. Bockelman, PROMO Executive Director, added, “On behalf of the 541 businesses in support of workplace protections, we express disappointment no vote was taken on MONA. We are humbled and grateful for the businesses that supported MONA and made a bold decision to stand up for basic protections for LGBT Missourians. We also want to thank our incredible leader Senator Jolie Justus for her service and work on MONA throughout the years. We know from our efforts this year there is political will to get this done. There is currently not enough courage to get the vote right now.”