New bill to allow businesses to discriminate against gays introduced in Missouri

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Amid an international outcry surrounding an Arizona bill which would allow business owners to discriminate against gay people, Missouri has introduced something very similar.

On Tuesday, state Senator Wayne Wallingford introduced Bill 916, which claims to “protect Missourians from attacks on their religious freedom.”

The bill immediately saw strong opposition from human and gay rights groups which said the bill attacks not only the LGBT community, but many others as well.

As with the Arizona bill, many have pointed to the fact that the law is unnecessary.

Senate Bill 1062 would prevent the state from taking action against individuals and businesses who refuse services to people or groups based on their religious beliefs if such enforcement would “substantially burden” the free exercise of their religion.

The bill was given final approval by the legislature on Friday, but Brewer has not said whether she will sign it into law.

Yesterday she said she is still looking at the legislation and that she will “do the right thing”.

Various large corporations have lobbied Brewer to veto the bill, and some have speculated that the threat of Arizona losing its chance to host the 2015 Super Bowl will sway her to use her veto.

Gay rights activists in Missouri, the state at which openly-gay NFL hopeful Michael Sam played, hope the bill will be defeated before it is passed.