SJR 39 prohibits the state from imposing penalties on religious organizations acting in accordance with their religious beliefs concerning same-sex marriage. The resolution does not allow hospitals to refuse to treat a marriage as valid for the purposes of treatment or spousal privileges, according to the current resolution summary.
Junior Christy Crouse, Truman State Student Government’s diversity chair, said the resolution leaves an extreme amount of leeway in interpretation, and the resolution could lead to many circumstances where members of the LGBT community could be discriminated against.
“An act can be conceived in many different ways, so this opens up a wide range of circumstances in which a religious organization could discriminate and/or mistreat those from the LGBTQ+ community within Truman and around Kirksville,” Crouse says.
Despite the resolution’s implications for LGBT individuals regarding their ability to receive service, Crouse says she is not aware of any organizations on campus raising awareness about the resolution.
District 2 Sen. Bob Onder sponsored the resolution, and supporters call it a religious freedom resolution because of its protection of religious organizations and their beliefs.
“Religious organizations already have rights to free speech and to have their own unwelcoming atmosphere if they are against the LGBTQ+ community. This leaves way too much room for hate and blatant discrimination in the Kirksville community.”
– Christy Crouse, Truman State Student Government diversity chair
Missouri’s eight Senate Democrats filibustered the joint resolution for 39 hours, but it passed 23-7 and is now in the House. If the House passes the resolution, it will appear on the November ballot for public voting.
The filibuster garnered attention on social media, with people on Twitter using the hashtag #NotInMyState to share their opinion about the resolution.
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