Dozens of major corporations have rallied together to form a coalition on Tuesday designed to stop a dangerous “religious freedom” amendment to the Missouri’s constitution currently making its way through the Missouri Legislature.
Senate Joint Resolution 39, also known as SJR39, would ask voters to amend Missouri’s Constitution to protect certain individuals and businesses who cite religious beliefs to refuse service to same-sex couples, according to the Kansas City Star. The legislation’s proponents contend that the amendment is needed to “prevent those with sincerely held religious beliefs from being punished by government.”
MasterCard, Google Fiber, Pfizer and Monsanto, are just a few of the companies that have joined the coalition, called Missouri Competes, and have agreed to sign a pledge stating that the proposed amendment “does not represent our values as Missourians, and the measure will damage our state’s reputation as a welcoming home and travel destination for job creators, their employees, families and customers.” These companies believe “the legislation enshrines discrimination in the state constitution.”
Dow Chemical’s vice president of government affairs and public policy, Kevin Kolevar, said his company opposes SJR39 “and any effort that would allow for discrimination. We should be focusing on policies that make Missouri more competitive and economically sound, instead of taking actions that divide.”
The KC Star adds:
Ryan Johnson, president of the conservative nonprofit Missouri Alliance for Freedom, said there has been “much hyperbole and misinformation from the left and their big business cronies.”
His organization, along with many supporters of Senate Joint Resolution 39, are calling on the Missouri House to move quickly to pass the bill and place it on the statewide ballot for voters to decide later this year.
“Missourians overwhelmingly believe citizens should not be forced by the government to violate their deeply-held religious beliefs which are protected by our constitution,” Johnson said.
The Senate passed the amendment last month, after Democrats staged a 39-hour filibuster in the hopes of killing it. It’ll get its first hearing in the Missouri House tonight in the Emerging Issues Committee.