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Missouri Republicans Break a Filibuster to Pass “Religious Liberty”

Democrats in the Missouri state Senate waged an epic 39-hour long filibuster of a "religious liberty" bill but, in the end, Republicans managed to break the filibuster with a cheap procedural move.

Senate Democrats launched the filibuster on Monday and it was broken late last night.

The bill, known as Senate Joint Resolution 39, passed 21-11 after the GOP senators broke the filibuster using a procedural move. [...]

It proposes to amend the Missouri Constitution and prohibit the state from "penalizing clergy, religious organizations, and certain individuals for their religious beliefs concerning marriage between two people of the same sex."

The "certain individuals" the bill refers to includes anyone who may be even remotely associated with a wedding ceremony such as a florist or baker. Under this bill, florists could refuse to provide flowers for a wedding if the wedding is for a gay couple.

We all know providing flowers or a cake for a gay wedding could lead to earthquakes and volcanoes, rivers and seas boiling, the dead rising from the grave, human sacrifice and dogs and cats living together. Mass hysteria!

Given that Governor Jay Nixon praised Democrats in the state Senate for filibustering the bill, I think we can assume he won't sign it if it reaches his desk.

  • Draxiar

    Maybe I’m not seeing something but as I’ve stated before any bullshit peeve could be presented as a violation of religious liberty and loopholed. Don’t like taxes? Religious liberty. Don’t want to serve a Democrat or Republican? Religious liberty. Don’t like brown skinned people? Religious liberty. Female Mutilation? Religious liberty. A person could make up any sort of “religious” excuse they want to justify nearly anything. Ultimately my question is, how do they determine what is a legitimate religious liberty and what isn’t? I’m sure these legislators are only thinking in Christian terms but legally if the door opens for one it opens for all.

  • muselet

    Republican state Sen. Bob Onder, who sponsored the bill, said he believes the amendment “is entirely defensive, in that it prevents state and local governments from imposing penalties. It is a shield, not a sword.”

    I wonder if Bob Onder would say that if a bill allowed people to discriminate against Christians. Or Republicans. Or white people. Or boneheaded state senators.

    The mental contortions people will go through to justify their bigotry never cease to amaze.


  • Aynwrong

    At the local level of a deep Southern state a group of Democrats just took a stand for the rights of their fellow Americans. I’m very proud to be a Democrat.

  • Ceoltoir

    One thing that needs to be mentioned is that the Oregon case that inspired this nonsense was not about the cake itself. The baker doxed the lesbian couple who had ordered the cake on several right wing blogs and FB pages which resulted in them getting death threats, harassment and bogus claims sent to child protective services that nearly resulted in their kids being taken away from them. That is what got the baker fined and it also shows exactly what is meant when Republican crumbs talk about “religious freedom”.

  • GrafZeppelin127

    If he doesn’t veto it, it’ll be challenged in court and struck down as a violation of the Establishment Clause. The state cannot privilege “religious” actors in this fashion, viz., by making them immune to civil liability where a non-religious actor would be liable for the exact same behavior in the exact same situation.

    • ninjaf

      When has this stopped them before? They keep trying, anyway, hoping that their Fairy Godfather will answers their prayers and not make them do it because it makes them feel icky.

      • GrafZeppelin127

        Yes, they’ll keep trying.

        This nitwit I was arguing with over at Mediaite, actually referred to those states which don’t designate sexual orientation as a protected class in their anti-discrimination statutes, as “states that allow religious freedom.” Chew on that one for a while.

        • ninjaf


  • ninjaf

    I hope the governor does veto it.

    I am so tired of this circle jerk around bigotry against LGBTQI folks (and others). How long is it before this current ruling generation has died off enough that it is no longer relevant to our conversations, much less laws? Not soon enough, if you ask me.