More than 80 businesses from across Missouri have formed a coalition to oppose Senate Joint Resolution 39 which would allow businesses and individuals to refuse service to LGBT people. Proponents allege SJR 39 is needed to prevent those with ‘sincerely held religious beliefs’ from being punished by government.
Members of Missouri Competes have signed a pledge stating that the proposed amendment “does not represent our values as Missourians, and the measure will damage our state’s reputation as a welcoming home and travel destination for job creators, their employees, families and customers.”
— Missouri Competes (@MOCompetes) April 12, 2016
In a statement, the coalition said:
“We believe that treating everyone fairly and equally is essential to maintaining Missouri’s time-honored brand as a welcoming and thriving home for the best minds and talented workers who want to help grow businesses, raise their families and explore our world class attractions.”
Missouri’s policies say a lot about its reputation as a good place to do business. We believe it is important that our state laws treat everyone with dignity and respect, regardless of their race, sex, color, national origin, religion, age, disability, sexual orientation or gender identity.
“We strongly believe that Senate Joint Resolution 39 does not represent our values as Missourians, and the measure will damage our state’s reputation as a welcoming home and travel destination for job creators, their employees, families and customers.
“We believe in Missouri. We are united in our commitment to promoting a welcoming, vibrant and diverse state that provides everyone the opportunity they need to succeed.”
Ryan Johnson, president of the conservative nonprofit Missouri Alliance for Freedom, said:
“Missourians overwhelmingly believe citizens should not be forced by the government to violate their deeply held religious beliefs, which are protected by our constitution.”
However, Hart Nelson, the vice president of public policy at the St. Louis Regional Chamber, said Tuesday that the legislation threatens the state’s reputation and could make it difficult for businesses to recruit candidates for jobs.