ACLU Statement Regarding Pro-Discrimination Legislation Forced Out of the Missouri Senate After Record-Breaking Filibuster

March 9, 2016 9:30 am

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MISSOURI – The Missouri Senate forced a vote and passage of SJR 39, a constitutional amendment that would allow discrimination in the name of religion, after a record-breaking 39.5 hour filibuster.

Executive Director of ACLU of Missouri Jeffrey Mittman issued the following statement regarding pro-discrimination legislation being forced out of the Missouri Senate:

“It’s an outrage that extremist senators would use a rare procedural move to shut down debate and silence the voices of countless Missourians, including major corporations and the very people these officials represent, who have spoken out against the anti-LGBT SJR 39. This bill would enshrine discrimination in our state constitution by allowing taxpayer-funded organizations like adoption and foster care agencies and homeless shelters to refuse serving LGBT families, in addition to countless other harmful consequences. This amendment raises serious constitutional concerns because it singles out same-sex couples for discrimination, notwithstanding the Supreme Court’s decision in Obergefell recognizing that same-sex couples enjoy the same constitutional right to marry as everyone else. In addition, the state cannot constitutionally prefer one set of religious beliefs (here, those opposed to marriage for same sex couples) over all other beliefs.

Discrimination has no place in our state and we are resolved to continue to fight this bill in the House. We salute the senators who courageously filibustered this hateful bill for a record-breaking 39 hours, and were willing to keep standing, even as the numbers were against them. The country is watching and we will continue to fight until we’ve landed on the right side of history.”

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