On Monday, Missouri lawmakers voted to approve a bill that would make it dramatically more difficult for people to successfully sue their former employers for discriminatory wrongful termination.
The bill, SB43, would modify existing Missouri’s Human Rights Act legislation, and require plaintiffs prove that bias was the motivating, and not simply a contributing, factor in their firing—a much tougher legal hurdle to clear.
During Monday’s debate, Rep. Kevin Engler, a Republican, introduced an amendment to make it illegal to discriminate against people based on their sexual orientation and gender identity—something not currently on the state books.
But, for Engler’s fellow Republican Rick Brattin, discriminating against the LGBTQ community isn’t just a legal matter—it’s a universally held religious truism. Because, Brattin explained, “When you look at the tenets of religion, of the Bible, of the Qu’ran, of other religions, there is a distinction between homosexuality and just being a human being.”
Got that? There’s gay people, and then there’s “just being a human being.”
This is hardly Brattin’s first brush with ultra-conservative infamy. In 2014, he introduced legislation that would have required women to get the father of their unborn child’s written permission to have an abortion—except in cases of “legitimate rape.” He later clarified to Mother Jones that he meant “legitimate rape” to mean cases in which the victim had gone through proper administrative channels, explaining: “I’m just saying if there was a legitimate rape, you’re going to make a police report, just as if you were robbed. That’s just common sense.”