JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. - For the 19th year in a row the Missouri Nondiscrimination Act (MONA) has been filed in the Missouri House and Senate. This legislation was first introduced by former Rep. Steve McLuckie (D-44-Kansas City) in 1998.

MONA would add sexual orientation and gender identity to Missouri’s Human Rights Act, which currently prohibits discrimination in employment, housing, and public accommodations for other protected categories, including race, sex and national origin.

The two sponsors of MONA in the House are both openly gay. HB 485 is sponsored by Rep. Randy D. Dunn (D-23-Kansas City), and HB 846 is sponsored by Rep. Greg Razer (D-25-Kansas City).

“Discrimination based upon someone’s sexual orientation or gender identity is morally wrong. Regardless of one’s beliefs no one should be evicted or fired for who they are or who they love,” said Rep. Dunn

There are over 1,200 businesses, including multiple Fortune 500 companies, in Missouri that continue to strongly urge the Missouri Legislature to pass MONA.

“This issue isn’t Democratic or Republican – this issue is about fairness. Today, in 2017, right here in Missouri, it is still perfectly legal to fire someone from their job or kick them out of their home simply because they are LGBT. I feel confident that the vast majority of Missourians think that’s simply wrong,” offered Rep. Razer. “If someone puts in an honest day’s work, they deserve to keep their job and pay their bills, regardless of color of their skin, gender, religion, or who they love. That’s just common decency – and after 19 years of trying, it’s time to get this bill passed.”

This year’s sponsor of MONA in the Senate, SB 338, is Senator Jill Schupp (D-24-St. Louis County). Schupp is not new to being a strong ally to the LGBT community in Missouri. In 2016, she was one of eight Senators to filibuster anti-LGBT SJR 39 for a record 39 hours.

"By sponsoring the Missouri Nondiscrimination Act in the Senate this session, I am sending a message to my colleagues and Missourians everywhere that we will not tolerate hate in this state and that all Missourians, including those who are LGBT, deserve to live free from discrimination, harassment, and bullying. Promoting equality for all Missourians is not only my job. It is the right thing to do,” stated Sen. Schupp.

The co-sponsor the House versions of MONA is Rep. Tracy McCreery (D-88-St. Louis County), another champion of LGBT equality in Missouri.

"LGBT workplace protections are good for Missouri businesses. MONA's passage would improve work environments and ultimately allow employees to better focus on their jobs," added McCreery.

In 2013, the Missouri Nondiscrimination Act passed in the Senate.

“All hardworking people -- including those who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender -- should be treated fairly and equally by the laws of our state, and should have the opportunity to earn a living and provide for themselves and their families.” said Steph Perkins, Executive Director of PROMO, Missouri's statewide LGBT advocacy organization.

“Cities, counties, and countless businesses across the state see the value in protecting and respecting their LGBT employees and citizens, and it is time the Missouri legislature to do the same by passing the Missouri Nondiscrimination Act (MONA)," added Perkins.

Equality Day, PROMO’s annual lobby day, is scheduled for February 14, 2016 at the Missouri Capitol.



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