In recent weeks Mississippi has embraced religious freedom protections for its citizens. It did so in light of last year’s U.S. Supreme Court ruling redefining marriage. The unsatisfied and emboldened LGBT movement, backed by Wall Street and much of the media, is opposing such actions with phony claims of possible discrimination as a means of crushing dissent to its radical agenda. Georgia tried to pass a bill, but its weak governor caved under leftist, corporate pressure and vetoed it.
Now the nation turns its attention to Missouri. We have already seen the beginnings of economic blackmail by corporations (almost none have headquarters here, just operations). The Missouri Chamber of Commerce surprised many a few weeks ago by expressing its opposition to the Missouri Religious Freedom Amendment, also known as Senate Joint Resolution (SJR) 39.
SJR 39 passed the Missouri Senate, 23-7, last month and two committees in the House of Representatives will soon hold hearings on its merits. If it passes both committees it will head to the House floor for debate and a final vote. If SJR 39 passes it will likely go on the Aug. 2 ballot for Missourians to approve, making it part of the Bill of Rights to the Missouri Constitution.
SJR 39 is a shield, not a sword. It does not take away anything from anybody. Same sex couples will still be able to get “marriage” licenses, get “married,” and buy wedding cakes and anything else they need for their ceremony. Claims of discrimination have no basis in fact.
So what does SJR 39 do? It prohibits the state of Missouri from penalizing clergy, churches, their institutions and a very narrow number of wedding industry related businesses who, for religious reasons, do not want to participate in a same-sex “marriage.” That’s it, plain and simple.
Why are corporations so adamantly opposed to a religious freedom amendment? There are many theories, but here are some facts:
The Republican Party has been under increasing pressure to accept homosexuality. It began under President George H. W. Bush and is now embraced by Wall Street, one of the GOP’s biggest supporters. There are various ideas about why Wall Street has become so radical on the issue. Some believe that gays are now in the upper echelons of many of these corporations and are influencing decisions. Others say corporate executives are influenced by their children who have embraced homosexuality or transgenderism or have friends who have. Some think it is good business, because young people are more tolerant of homosexuality. No matter the rationale, they have decided to press the issue in the Republican Party while discouraging emphasis on social issues like religious freedom.
I find it amazing that corporations like Monsanto, MasterCard, Apple and the Bryan Cave law firm would go out of their way to offend millions of religious customers. Then they crow how there will be an economic catastrophe in Missouri if SJR 39 is passed, claiming that Missouri will be perceived as an unwelcoming place to do business. Yet research defies that silly assertion. Consider the following:
Forbes magazine in November published its top ten states for doing business and seven of them had no nondiscrimination laws that included sexual orientation or gender identity. Missouri presently has 14 municipalities with such laws and some of them do not have any religious freedom protections. Gays are pressing for a statewide law. This is why SJR 39 is needed.
The Pew Charitable Trusts’ most recent Bottom Ten states for job growth included eight states that had gay nondiscrimination laws that included sexual orientation and gender identity. The eight included Illinois, New York, Massachusetts, the District of Columbia, Vermont, Maine, New Hampshire and New Mexico.
The Missouri Chamber and these corporations need to start telling the truth. There is no evidence to support their argument that passing a religious freedom amendment like SJR 39 will hurt Missouri’s economy. Indeed, as the Forbes research suggests, states that embrace religious freedom enjoy strong economies because they promote freedom, the best environment for economic prosperity. The Missouri Chamber couldn’t care less about small business owners, who would be protected by SJR 39.
The hypocrisy on the part of many of the pro-LGBT corporations is astounding. Pay Pal has announced it would not be building a new operations center in North Carolina after that state passed a law requiring men to use men’s restrooms and women to use women’s restrooms. Among the nations Pay Pal does business with is Malaysia. Recently that country’s president compared gays to ISIS. Many of these so-called pro-LGBT companies continue to do business with nations like Saudi Arabia and Iran where gays are beheaded and thrown off rooftops.
Missourians should not let this type of crony capitalism rob us of our religious freedom. It is time for your House of Representatives member to hear from you. Tell them to pass SJR 39 without amendments.