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Springfield lawyer sends "harsh" anti-gay letter to public servant

Last month, Springfield City Council member Craig Fishel voiced his opposition to a proposal that would expand Springfield’s nondiscrimination ordinance to include sexual orientation and gender identity. In his dissent, Fishel scoffed at the very idea that any LGBT individual in Springfield has ever been discriminated against.

“At a noon meeting of City Council's Community Involvement Committee, Fishel said he and Stephens believe the proposed ordinance goes "way beyond" federal and state standards. Fishel also said he isn't convinced anyone in Springfield has been discriminated against because of their sexual orientation or gender identity.” Springfield News-Leader - August 14, 2014

If the testimony of Springfield residents at a recent City Council meeting isn’t proof enough, Springfield attorney Dee Wampler has provided an ugly example in the form of a letter sent to Ozark fire Captain Andi Mooneyham. Mooneyham had requested same-sex partner insurance benefits for her wife (they were legally married in California), but the board reluctantly declined to extend them citing Missouri’s same-sex marriage ban. Wampler’s letter to Mooneyham expressed his enthusiastic support of that decision.

The letter was sent on the letterhead of Wampler’s law practice, which he shares with Joseph Passanise, the campaign treasurer for Missouri Auditor Thomas Schweich. PROMO executive director A.J. Bockelman has asked Schweich to take a stand in a letter of his own, but to date Schweich has not issued a statement.

Dee Wampler has since apologized for his “harsh” and demeaning letter, but the Springfield lawyer stands behind his support of discrimination through Missouri’s same-sex marriage ban.

Springfield City Council member Craig Fishel should take note that the Dee Wamplers of the world aren’t denying that discrimination exists, rather they are advocating for the right to continue discriminating. And that's just wrong.