This is the 20th year that the Missouri Nondiscrimination Act has been filed. Democratic Rep. Greg Razer of Kansas City, one of two openly gay members of the Missouri legislature, is a sponsor of the bill that would make it illegal to fire someone.

Ron Calzone, a conservative activist from Dixon, Missouri, had something to say.

The Missouri House Committee on General Laws heard testimony Wednesday on bills designed to outlaw discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity.

The idea that Missouri law should treat all citizens equally was apparently too much for Calzone, who testified against the legislation. He said anti-discrimination laws enslave property owners.

”I believe that we have a God-given right to discriminate,” he told the committee. “We actually have a God-given responsibility, a duty, to sometimes discriminate,” he added.

Asked if he believed a restaurant owner could eject someone based on race or religion or gender, Calzone said yes. “If a restaurant owner doesn’t want to serve people with freckles, that should be his choice,” he told the group.

Calzone’s views will lead most Missourians to roll their eyes. Yet his testimony was a clarifying moment: In some parts of the state, in some minds, private business signs that say “whites only” or “no Irish need apply” or “no women allowed” are still acceptable, even laudable.

That may explain why the state’s legislature is likely to continue to allow landlords and business owners to discriminate based on sexual orientation.

Missouri Rep. Greg Razer sponsored one of the bills that would add protections for LGBTQ Missourians. “I was a closeted teenager,” he told The Star. “LGBT teenagers are five times more likely to commit suicide than their heterosexual counterparts. Yet what we get from the leadership in this building is silence and inaction.”

The legislature’s perpetual silence on discrimination is deeply disappointing. No Missourian should be kicked out of his or her home or denied a job simply because someone thinks a tenant or applicant might be gay.

”All persons are created equal and are entitled to equal rights and opportunity under the law,” the Missouri Constitution says. Apparently the state’s lawmakers missed that part.

But their refusal to approve gender and sexual orientation protections in state law is a practical disaster, too. What 21st-century employer wants to come to a state where discrimination is legal? Lawmakers have effectively posted a “heterosexuals only” sign at the border, to their shame and the state’s detriment.

Calzone disagrees with all of this, of course. “Forcing someone to serve someone they do not want to serve is a form of slavery,” he told The Star Editorial Board in an email.

Depriving anyone of full participation in society because of gender or skin color or sexual orientation is the most fundamental denial of ordered liberty and individual dignity. And it should be outlawed.

The legislature should add gender and sexual orientation protections to state law this year and send the long overdue message that discrimination will not be tolerated in this state.

Kansas City Star

(15) comments

Aim_High

Gary,

Why would the fact that the bible was written by man upset me? I've never been one to take the bible seriously or literally. I know it's a bunch of made up stories written by man. I'm also not sure why you would think I have "derangement syndrome". I have zero reason for paranoia. Maybe you just didn't understand what that big word meant? Truth is you asked for proof God wants discrimination, and sorry the truth hit you so hard all you could come back with was a weak attempt at an insult. Hard to believe a middle weight boxing champ could be such a snowflake!

Comment deleted.
Aim_High

Even if you did know my name, that wouldn't make me suddenly change from a dishonest person to an honest one... If you really wanted to figure it out, maybe look through old phone books.... Look under the surnames beginning with HIGH.... and within thsose names, find the one that begins with AIM. I'm also in 2 Emporia High School yearbooks. I was also at the big watch party in 1998, when The Undertaker threw Mankind off Hell In A Cell, and plummeted 16 ft through an announcer's table.

Gary Lukert

I don't even care to "figure it out." I just don't believe people that won't use their REAL NAME...should not be able to hammer anyone in the Media. People that know me, know I am a very good person. I go out of my way for people every day.

Comment deleted.
JG24

Gary, you are very smart. 100% of what you say is true. Thank you for knowing everything about everything!

Justice81

Really Grinds on you, doesn't it. But, hey, while you don't say it, you believe YOU KNOW EVERYTHING, down to the last "dotted i" and "crossed T."

JG24

Gary, if that is you’re real name....you are my hero. So smart. I can’t even believe it. Wow. You delete my comments now that I finally get it and realize your intelligence? Hmmm seems you Amat be confused!

Justice81

When My Comments get deleted by some Chicken afraid to use his own name, YES, I then "reciprocate."

JG24

Might* Sorry for the typo Gary.

SnowGypsy

MO isn't the only one with a problem when it comes to discrimination. In Kansas, KDADS (Kansas Department of Aging and Disability) stated that they (State of Kansas) could not force a private business (service contractors for people with developmental disabilities) to provide services to someone if they did not want to. According to ADA, that is not true. I think we are all familiar with the taxpayer dollars spent on fighting same sex marriage. (I support separation of church and state of which that most certainly falls.) I have it (statement about private business from KDADS) in an email that it was said, our elected state officials blew it off as did HHS OCR. Anyone that thinks that anti-discrimination laws will help them is in for the fight of their life trying to get them enforced. I have seen it with disabilities, race and age. As far as the Bible and God, those were stories told over and over through generations, often to justify or explain what was happening as the people were not educated and, therefore, very gullible much like some people in today's world. While we all discriminate on a personal level all the time preferring or demanding one thing over the other in our life, I could never figure out what drives judgement that hurts another. MO is sort of "redneck"...............KS is no better. Outsiders beware and avoid this entire area of the country!

ibtirish

Gary Gary , tel me what to think Gary.

Gary Lukert

Can you sleep at night. I must be generating Nightmares...as I know you puke at the truth! I want to have that guy PROVE god wants discrimination. Like God liked Slavery? Hey, all of you (well nearly everyone) of you gutless people who use some made up name...TELL ME WHAT TO THINK. You people when it comes back at you. I am nearly the only person who uses his Name. Maybe, that's why I am not afraid, as I was the The Middleweight Boxing Champion of the Naval Base in Argentia, Newfoundland in 1985?

Gary Lukert

I left out 2 words...in line 4: "can't take" (You people CAN'T Take it..) when it comes back to you!

Aim_High

I got some proof God loves him some discrimination. In the Bible, God literally created human racism and conflict. Everyone on earth spoke the same language and were united under one cause; to reach the stars. This did not sit well with Our Father, who was jealous and fearful of our success and decided to divide us all.


"1.Now the whole world had one language and a common speech. As people moved eastward, they found a plain in Shinar and settled there.
2.They said to each other, “Come, let’s make bricks and bake them thoroughly.” They used brick instead of stone, and tar for mortar.
3. And they said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city, and a tower whose top is in the heavens; let us make a name for ourselves, lest we be scattered abroad over the face of the whole earth.”
4. But the Lord came down to see the city and the tower which the sons of men had built.
5. And the Lord said, “Indeed the people are one and they all have one language, and this is what they begin to do; now nothing that they propose to do will be withheld from them.
6. Come, let Us go down and there confuse their language, that they may not understand one another’s speech.”
7. So the Lord scattered them abroad from there over the face of all the earth, and they ceased building the city.
8. Therefore its name is called Babel, because there the Lord confused the language of all the earth; and from there the Lord scattered them abroad over the face of all the earth. — Genesis 11:4–9" Amen.


Is this proof enough? There's PLENTY more if you need MORE. I would LOVE to tell you MORE. And please don't let this distract you from the fact that in 1998, The Undertaker threw Mankind off Hell In A Cell, and plummeted 16 ft through an announcer's table. Neither one uses their REAL NAME and they aren't gutless!

SnowGypsy

I have an adult son with DD, and I won't be using certain services based on the comment section here, and I know you know what I mean. Most forums advise people not to use their real names and to use a screen name as I have told you before. So, one has to wonder why you want real names. Scary!

Aim_High

Yeah there's no doubt Gary would single out your child if he finds out who you are.

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