In response PROMO calls on Missouri’s legisture to pass the Missouri Nondiscrimination Act in 2018.
Today, the Department of Justice (DOJ) issued guidance to administrative agencies and executive departments focusing on religious freedom. This guidance is a license to discriminate against LGBT people. Yet again, the Trump Administration is rolling back rights for LGBT people. Enough is enough. Now is the time. It is more important than ever before for Missouri to pass the Missouri Nondiscrimination Act (MONA). When passed, MONA would add sexual orientation and gender identity to the list of protected classes under the Missouri Human Rights Act from discrimination based in the workplace, public accommodations, and housing.
The DOJ guidance is nothing more than a license to discriminate. This is not good for America. This is not good for Missouri. Last May, President Trump issued a Religious Freedom Executive Order (EO). Today, the DOJ issued guidance for how to interpret the EO. PROMO is awaiting further interpretation and will release more information as it is available. It is deeply disturbing that in the wake of natural disasters and mass shootings, our current administration wants to further harm the American people.
In Missouri, just last year, hundreds of businesses (including Anheuser Busch, Mastercard, Express Scripts, Pfizer, and Nestle Purina) took a stand against SJR 39, a religious freedom constitutional amendment. Similar actions have been taken in states where religious freedom measures were considered or passed, including North Carolina, Georgia, and Vice President Pence’s home state of Indiana. In growing numbers, Americans recognize that dignity and equality under the law and freedom of religion are not mutually exclusive.
According to Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI), nearly 60% of people of faith affirm LGBT equal protection and access under the law. By issuing this guidance, our government is not representing the values of the majority of Americans.
“We are appalled at the sweeping nature of the recent guidance from Attorney General Sessions. While we agree that religious freedom is a cornerstone of many Americans’ lives, religious freedom should never be interpreted in a way that harms or denies rights to another person or group, and this memo orders just that,” said Steph Perkins, PROMO’s Executive Director. “We call on our state and local legislatures to consider carefully what they can do to ensure this memo does not harm people here at home by strengthening laws and policies in Missouri to ensure protections for all Missourians.”
The Justice Department is working to undermine our liberties.
The time for you to take action to resist discrimination is now. Start your resistance Action Plan first by registering your opposition to this guidance and then letting your elected officials know we will not tolerate discrimination under the ruse of religious liberty!