Missouri Republican Introduces Bill Allowing Religion-Based Discrimination Against Gays

A Missouri GOP lawmaker has introduced a 'license to discriminate' bill similar to Arizona's SB 1062 that appears to be trying to slip under the radar by not specifically mentioning sexual orientation, even though "the bill could provide legal cover for denial of services to same-sex couples," the Kansas City Star reports:

WallingfordThe legislation, sponsored by Sen. Wayne Wallingford of Cape Girardeau, states that a governmental authority shall not substantially burden a person’s free exercise of religion unless the government demonstrates that it has a compelling interest.

To supporters of the idea — similar to legislation filed in several other states — the goal is to make it clear that private individuals can use religious beliefs as a defense in litigation.

“We’re trying to protect Missourians from attacks on their religious freedom,” Wallingford said.

Opponents contend bills like Wallingford’s would allow businesses to discriminate against anyone they do not like, most notably gays and lesbians.

“It’s a legislative attempt to legalize discrimination toward (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) individuals,” said A.J. Bockelman, executive director of the LGBT rights organization PROMO.

Zack Ford at Think Progress notes that three of four recently introduced 'license to discriminate' bills — in Georgia, Ohio, and Indiana — have stalled, likely due to the attention on Arizona's bill. Similar bills in Kansas, South Dakota, Tennessee, Maine, and Idaho have also met with resistance.


  1. says


    “Like the other states with poor levels of education, income and emplyment, we Republicans have no plans in making their lives better. Our tax plans don’t help them, and neither do out healthcare plans. But what we do know is that these people go to church on sunday and are told to hate gay people. So, to convince the people of our States to support us, we’re hoping that their hatred of gays will distract them from the reality that our fiscal plans totally screw them over. Sure, you can’t pay for your daughter’s leukemia treatments without mortgaging your house, again. Sure, our tax breaks for the wealthiest percentile don’t help you at all. But just look! We protected you from something that was never going to happen to you anyway! VOTE REPUBLICAN!”

  2. 1♥ says

    RE:“We’re trying to protect Missourians from attacks on their religious freedom,” Wallingford said.

    I have yet to see one example where selling a Gay person anything attacks someones religious freedom.

  3. adamth says

    Oh yes… Can I have another one Sir!!

    All of these segration bills should guarantee SCOTUS will apply heightened scrutiny to the next marriage case they accept. Game OVER. We win.

    Plus.. All of these new segegation laws will be struck down.

  4. Albert says

    Ok, another one who missed class at Ding Dong School! Has he not been watching the drama unfold in Arizona?!

  5. SPDRCR says

    This type of action, by these so called legislators, is becoming so prevalent that the larger community needs to really investigate ‘what else’ is being passed. Or what other nefarious agenda items these people are proposing and/or passing, without the fanfare these ‘religion bills’ are garnering. The larger community needs to watch the side and back doors in addition to the front.

  6. says

    Every state already has civil rights law preventing discrimination based on race, color, religion, SEX, age, national origin, and disability.

    Regular interpretation of ‘SEX’ is male/female gender but there is nothing in state law that designates sex as specifically limited to heterosexual orientation. Why let the presumption that the protected category of ‘sex’ in these laws is limited to heterocentric definitions of gender go unchallenged?

    Sexual orientation & gender identity is just as much a valid component of that category for homosexuals as the male/female component is for heterosexuals.

    Why not challenge any discrimination made based on sexual orientation and force the courts tell us that these civil rights laws have the distinction of protecting heterosexual component of male/female only? If or when that happens we’ve then shown state bias against homosexuals which is unconstitutional.


    Stop playing defense and start playing offense.
    The existing state laws are discriminatory by deliberate exclusion of LGBT. States have no right to choose to allow discrimination against an identified suspect class. Challenge the existing civil rights laws as discriminatory to LGBT by NOT including sexual orientation & gender identity. States can not choose to discriminate nor turn a blind eye to ANY class being discriminated against by exclusion in civil rights laws without showing a valid reason why they do so.

  7. simon says

    They probably doesn’t care. There is not much business in Missouri to begin with. God is all they need.

  8. woodroad34 says

    I don’t know….does this person read? or does he read like Sarah Palin—just lots and lots, but can’t recall any of them. Sound so much the case of Republican-out-of-touch-itis

  9. jjose712 says

    Good idea, because everybody is praising Arizona’s law.

    Learning from other people’s mistakes is inteligent, but probably you won’t find any inteligence there

  10. Kenny C says

    Let’s hope it tears up their tourism and interest in their state as much (or more since it’s already been proven what a complete DUMBASS idea it is) as it has AZ!

  11. JJ says

    “appears to be trying to slip under the radar by not specifically mentioning sexual orientation”

    The Arizona bill doesn’t specifically mention sexual orientation either. What seems to raise alarms–as it should–is that these bills expand the right to religious freedom to encompass a right to nullify the law by forcing courts to favor religious beliefs when they allegedly conflict with a civil law. They explicitly shift the burden of proof in court proceedings from the party trying to skirt the law to the party seeking enforcement of the law.

  12. I'm layla miller i know stuff says

    The letter of the law versus the spirit of the law

    The letter of the law versus the spirit of the law is an idiomatic antithesis. When one obeys the letter of the law but not the spirit, one is obeying the literal interpretation of the words (the “letter”) of the law, but not the intent of those who wrote the law.

    Conversely, when one obeys the spirit of the law but not the letter, one is doing what the authors of the law intended, though not adhering to the literal wording.

    “Law” originally referred to legislative statute, but in the idiom may refer to any kind of rule.

    Intentionally following the letter of the law but not the spirit may be accomplished through exploiting technicalities, loopholes, and ambiguous language.

    Following the letter of the law but not the spirit is also a tactic used by oppressive governments.

  13. I'm layla miller i know stuff says

    Aesop’s Fables, translated by Laura Gibbs (2002)

    Perry 367 (Babrius 70)

    The gods were getting married. One after another, they all got hitched, until finally it was time for War to draw his lot, the last of the bachelors.
    Hubris, or Reckless Pride, became his wife, since she was the only one left without a husband.

    They say War loved Hubris with such abandon that he still follows her everywhere she goes.

    So do not ever allow Hubris to come upon the nations or cities of mankind, smiling fondly at the crowds, because War will be coming right behind her.

    Note: Hubris is a Greek word meaning reckless pride or insolence; as a feminine noun, hubris is, allegorically, a woman.

  14. I'm layla miller i know stuff says

    The Paranoia Switch by Martha Stout (amazon.com)

    These familiar history McCarthyism, the World War II internment of Japanese-Americans, and the rise of the Klu Klux Klan after the Civil War – are three American examples of what I have called “limbic wars.” Every limbic war can be divided into six stages.

    These stages do not have distinct beginning or ends, but rather merge, almost imperceptibly, each into the next. The first phase always involves a traumatizing event, usually a war or an attack. The five subsequent stages are essential reaction to the fear instilled in people minds by the initial tragedy.

    The second stage is the all-important one. If leaders willing to us the paranoia switch are not embraced by the people, a limbic war may not occur at all, and the unhappy unfolding of Stages 3 through 6 can be avoided. If they accept the fear brokers, the process continues into its third stage.

    The Six Stages of Limbic War
    1. Group Trauma
    2. Fear Brokers
    3. Scapegoatism
    4. Cultural Regression
    5. Recognition & Backlash
    6. Regret & Amnesia

    Ten Behavioral Characteristics of Fear Brokers
    1. Fear brokers speak to us of fear, dangerous people and frightening situations
    2. Fear brokers are not limited by facts; they use alarming “unfacts”
    3. Fear brokers tend to accuse those who disagree with them of being unpatriotic or naïve
    4. Feat brokers look good
    5. Fear brokers behave like archetypal parents
    6. Fear brokers shame us over sex
    7. Fear brokers praise us for being moral and heroic, contradicting as it is
    8. Fear brokers project personal infallibility
    9. Fear brokers are secretive, and are certain that other people too, are keeping dangerous secrets
    10. Fear brokers use language that pulls for primitive affect

  15. Lexis says

    Pointless, because I’m pretty sure the state’s democratic governor, Jay Nixon, who’s come out for marriage equality, would veto that kind of bill.

  16. steven says

    To Hansel, worse yet is “I- Da – Ho.”

    Anyway, having grown up in MO, there are 2 states like here in CA, the big cities are democratic party supporters and the farmland and some of the exurbs repugnicrats. Interestingly, the Democratic Gov. Nixon (again state wide votes go Dem) has called for a repeal of the marriage ban, and would probably veto any such bill like Gov. Brewer just did in AZ. The most recent election shows a 39-37 split between R-D. If not for the gerrymandered districts again Missouri should be almost 50-50 instead of 2/3 – 1/3 in both houses.