GOP leaders across the country have repeatedly pushed for so-called religious freedom laws that offer sweeping protection for opponents of gay marriage and allow them to discriminate based on sexual orientation. Indiana, after a national backlash, eventually amended its controversial legislation but similar battles are still being fought elsewhere.
In Missouri this week, after breaking a 39-hour filibuster led by Democrats in the state legislature, Republicans are preparing to pass a measure that would allow business owners to deny service to LGBT couples. More concerning, the law loosens the definition of a religious organization which could allow a large number of organizations, including corporations, partnerships, preschools, high schools, colleges and charities to discriminate against LGBT Americans. As a result, married gay couples could be denied social services, education, employment or housing. Missouri’s proposed constitutional amendment would also supersede local ordinances that ban discrimination against LGBT citizens.
From the state level to the presidential campaign, anti-LGBT discrimination is nothing new for GOP leaders. Consider the positions of the remaining candidates for president:
- Donald Trump said gay marriage was “not my thing.”
- Ted Cruz said the Supreme Court’s decision to legalize marriage equality was “among the darkest hours of our nation.”
- Marco Rubio opposed the Employment Non-Discrimination Act and said “I’m not for any special protections based on orientation.” Rubio defended Indiana’s notorious anti-LGBT law and he opposes marriage equality. He said the U.S. Supreme Court would be “absurd” to reach the conclusion that there is a right to marry someone of the same sex.
- John Kasich said he was “very disappointed” with the marriage equality ruling, and he has not yet fixed the fact that Ohio is still a state where you can get fired from your job for being gay.
It’s worth asking these Republicans where they stand on Missouri’s latest attack on the LGBT community.
“It’s time for Republican leaders to abandon their anti-LGBT tactics and respect the rights of all Americans. Republican presidential hopefuls should take a stand and reject these sorts of blatantly discriminatory proposals.” – DNC National Press Secretary Mark Paustenbach