SB 43 – GUTTING THE MISSOURI HUMAN RIGHTS ACT
- Missourians should find Senate Bill 43 disturbing for two major reasons:
- First, it seeks to lock the courthouse doors to victims of unlawful discrimination.
- Second, the bill is sponsored by a senator who owns a business that currently is being sued for engaging in unlawful discrimination.
- So, not only would SB 43 make it significantly more difficult for victims to hold wrongdoers accountable for their unlawful actions, its sponsor is someone whose company, if the allegations against it are true, could resume its discriminatory practices in the future with little fear of being sued and held accountable.
- To put it bluntly, Sen. Gary Romine’s sponsorship of SB 43 appears to be a blatant example of an elected official abusing the power of his office for personal benefit.
- Sen. Romine is so deep in a conflict of interest here that he has no business even voting on a bill like this, let alone sponsoring one.
- But even if it wasn’t for the appearance of impropriety involving its sponsor, SB 43 would still be troubling.
- The Missouri Human Rights Act makes it illegal to discriminate in employment, housing or public accommodation based on race, color, religion, national origin, ancestry, gender, disability or familial status.
- It is one of the most important tools we have to illegal discrimination in our state.
- But SB 43 would raise the bar for successfully bringing a suit under the Missouri Human Rights Act so high as to render it a dead letter.
- SB 43 would tip the scales of justice firmly in favor of wrongdoers and against victims and set back work toward racial equality in Missouri a good 50 years.