Missouri Senator Maria Chappelle-Nadal Leads 39-hour Filibuster to Block Anti-Gay Bill. Law Ends Up Being Passed.

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Maria Chappelle-Nadal

Missouri state Sen. Maria Chappelle-Nadal led a group of Democrats in a recording-breaking filibuster, aimed at squashing an anti-gay bill. The bill, SJR 39, proposes amending the Missouri Constitution to prohibit the state from “penalizing clergy, religious organizations, and certain individuals for their religious beliefs concerning marriage between two people of the same sex.”

If put into effect, it would allow taxpayer-funded entities to refuse service to LGBTQ individuals on the grounds of religious opposition. Essentially, government employees like the controversy causing county clerk Kim Davis could refuse services such state-sponsored counseling and marriage to individuals whose sexual orientation they find to be in direct conflict with their beliefs.

Despite their best efforts, 39-hours of speech and all, the state’s Republican majority passed the bill 21-11 claiming that it “protects religious people from government penalties.”

The bill comes at a time when private business like florists and bakeries have sparked a furious public debate about overt discrimination after refusing to serve LGBTQ individuals.

Both Hillary Clinton and Missouri Governor Jay Nixon (D) tweeted messages of support to the Chappelle-Nadal and company.

Despite this major setback, it’s not over. As Missouri’s legislative session runs through mid-May, lawmakers still have a considerable amount of time to amend the bill.


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