Missouri Lawmaker Signals Which Way House Committee May Vote On SJR 39

A few days after a four and a half hour hearing on Tuesday night[MG1] , there are new insights into how the broad and discriminatory SJR 39 might fair when the Missouri House Emerging Issues Committee votes on the bill next week. SJR 39 is a resolution that calls for an amendment to the Missouri Constitution that would allow businesses and taxpayer-funded organizations to ignore laws that conflicts with their “sincere religious belief concerning marriage between two persons of the same sex.”

During an interview on Thursday with the #moleg podcast, Rep. Ron Hicks (R), who had been considered a swing vote on the committee, came out in favor of the legislation.

“I’m voting yes. I’m going to stand up and I’m going to stand behind it,” the lawmaker said, according to The Missouri Times.  With Rep. Hicks support, many suspect the resolution will have the votes to move out of committee and to the House floor.

But SJR 39's ultimate fate is not a foregone conclusion. A plethora of Missouri businesses and legal scholars have spoken out against the legislation. Governor Jay Nixon shares their concerns.

“The business part of this is very real,” Nixon said. “Good businesses want to sell their products to everyone they can sell them too and they want to attract as diverse a workforce as possible. Anything that this legislature does, or anything that  we do, that limits their business’ to sell their products to as many people as possible and have as diverse a workforce as possible, is going to hurt us in a world economy.”

And, the people of Missouri still have time to tell members of the committee to reject the resolution.

Did you miss Tuesday's hearing? You can watch the entire official proceedings or just read a summary on our Storify. (We recommend the Storify summary — 4 hours is a long time to watch lawmakers at work.)