A bill that would prohibit public universities from enforcing campus non-discrimination ordinances and taking action against religious student groups that discriminate against LGBT individuals is currently making its way through the Missouri Legislature.
HB 104, titled the Student Freedom of Association Act, passed out of the Missouri House back in March and is currently awaiting a public hearing in the Senate Judiciary Committee next Tuesday.
Missouri's ABC 17 reports:
It is sponsored by Rep Elijah Haahr, who says it would protect the right of students to exercise their religious beliefs and prevent public universities from discriminating against religious student organizations.
The LGBTQ community said it is a bill that would encourage discrimination – not freedom.
"Indiana has gone down the wrong path when it comes to protecting LGBT people. It is hurting their economy. It is hurting their community members. And that same impact will exist for students on college campuses in Missouri who are already a sensitive population to begin with and that same discrimination is going to happen on campuses if those two bills pass," said Sarah Rossi, from the American Civil Liberties Union of Missouri. […]
"We are the ACLU. We are in full support of freedom of religion. We are in full support of religious expression that is protected by the First Amendment. But religion should not be used as an excuse or a legal protection to discriminate against a group of people," said Rossi.
Rossi said while LGBTQ is not written in either Indiana or Missouri's bills, it is clear it discriminates against the LGBTQ community because other minority groups are already protected under state law.
Progress Missouri and the ACLU of Missouri are calling on supporters of LGBT rights to contact the state's Judiciary Committee and ask them to vote NO on the bill.