JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) – A contested Missouri measure to protect businesses that deny services for same-sex weddings has been voted down.
The measure failed to advance Wednesday on a 6-6 vote in a House committee. It had previously passed the Senate.
The legislation drew opposition from LGBT-rights activists and some business leaders, who cited economic backlash in other states with laws perceived as discriminatory toward lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.
If the measure passed the Legislature, it would have gone to voters to decide whether to amend the Missouri Constitution to bar government penalties against businesses that cite religion while denying some services for same-sex weddings.
House Minority Leader Jake Hummel released this statement:
“The House Emerging Issues Committee is to be commended for declining to advance Senate Joint Resolution 39. I know this was difficult decision for many committee members and that pressure was intense from all sides.
“The ultimate issue here is whether our state constitution protects all Missourians or grants special rights to some to detriment of others. In the years to come, I am confident today’s action will be remembered as being on the right side of history.”