A national study says a state law is needed to end “substantial evidence of discrimination” against the state’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender citizens.
The Williams Institute at UCLA’s law school calculates 160,000 LGBT Missourians would be protected by adding gender preference and sexual orientation to the state human rights law. The report cites surveys showing thirteen to fourteen percent of LGBT citizens in our two biggest cities report experiencing some kind of workplace discrimination or hate crime.
Institute Fellow Amira Hasenbush, one of the authors, says, “We’ve seen things in employment, public accommodations, people being fired, people being denied access to hotels, hospitals–things that generally wouldn’t occur without knowing about someone’s LGBT status.”
(We have a link to the report below).
She says revising the state Human Rights Law will not trigger large numbers of discrimination cases. The study estimates only 47 complaints would be filed each year.
But she knows Missouri voted 71% for a law banning gay marriage. Every county voted for the ban. Only the city of St. Louis rejected it.
The report says more than fifty Missouri companies have adopted anti-discrimination policies based on gender identity and sexual orientation. Eighteen cities have expanded their human rights ordinance. But the legislature has shown no interest in expanding the state law.