Missouri Democrats try again to ban LGBT discrimination

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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) _ Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon used his final State of the State address this past week to implore lawmakers to bar discrimination against LGBT people. But leaders in the Republican-dominated Legislature say that’s unlikely to happen before he leaves office.

It appears more likely that lawmakers will strengthen Missouri’s religious objections laws, which protect people’s right to act in accordance with their religious beliefs, even if that means discriminating against non-protected groups such as lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.

House Republicans have submitted at least two bills this session that would protect clergy and other organizations that opt not to marry same-sex couples. House and Senate leaders have cited concerns with religious rights this session, which comes months after the U.S. Supreme Court effectively legalized gay marriage throughout the country.

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