Two Atrocities on the Floor of the Missouri House

Rep. Brattin reaches new low implying LGBTQ people aren't human

Monday night on the House floor, Senate Bill 43 came up for debate — this bill would gut current workplace, housing and public accommodation discrimination protections for women, religious, and racial minority groups. Not to mention, SB 43 would pull the safety net out from under whistleblowers reporting fraud or waste in the government.

It's a very bad bill, but one a few representatives tried to make just a bit better by adding an amendment to include LGBT Missourians on the list of protected groups. (Sidenote: House Speaker Todd Richardson did not allow any of the common sense amendments offered by both Democrats and Republicans to be added to SB 43, because then it would have had to go back to the Senate and perhaps not made it to the Governor's desk.)

Rep. Kevin Engler (R-Farmington) was one of several representatives that stood up and spoke against any inequalities LGBT Missourians may face.

Rep. Rick Brattin, on the other hand, had something else to say:

via KC Star:

“When you look at the tenets of religion, of the Bible, of the Qur’an, of other religions,” [Rep. Rick Brattin] said Monday, “there is a distinction between homosexuality and just being a human being.”

The statement, made on the Missouri House floor, was deplorable. It betrayed a stunning lack of understanding of theology and self-government: The Constitution protects all Americans from the tyranny of any single faith-based approach to secular law.

We asked Rep. Brattin to explain his statement, but he did not return a phone call to his office.

The lack of leadership Speaker Richardson has shown this legislative session is astounding. He has allowed controversy after controversy to happen with no real repercussions. So why would he object to hate speech on the floor of the Missouri House?

The KC Star Editorial Board correctly points out that Brattin has a checkered past, but the true atrocity is SB 43 was allowed to pass the Missouri House unaltered

And the responsibility for that, rests squarely on the shoulders of the Speaker.

Despite amendments offered by multiple Republicans in an attempt to make this extreme bill slightly more palatable, the Speaker didn't budge or compromise. It seems just passing SB 43 was more important than making sure it was a quality piece of legislation.

The bill is another unnecessary blemish on the state. The legislation’s original sponsor [Sen. Gary Romine] owns a company facing a discrimination lawsuit, making the decision even more questionable.

The bill now sits on Gov. Eric Greitens’ desk.

The governor has made clear his desire to bring new businesses and jobs to Missouri. Supporters say SB 43 is part of an effort to make the state more business-friendly.

But what business wants to operate in a state that tolerates discrimination? Or a state where a representative thinks gays and lesbians are less than human?

The states that grow in the 21st century will be those that show tolerance, acceptance and intelligence. Missouri’s lawmakers are sending a clear signal this state is not any of those things.

The governor should veto the bill. And Brattin should apologize.

-KC Star

Call Gov. Greitens NOW and ask him to veto SB 43: (573) 751-3222

It's clear from the Legislature's approval of SB 43: Things are off balance in Jefferson City. Governor Greitens is our last chance to make our voices heard.

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