House hears debate on anti-discrimination bill

The Missouri House held a hearing Thursday on a bill that aims to block discrimination toward lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals in the employment, disability, and and housing sectors.

Emotions ran high during discussion of the bill, known as the Missouri Nondiscrimination Act, or MONA.

The Missouri Chamber is among the groups opposing the bill. A chamber lobbyist said the organization opposes the bill because it would create a new legally protected class and the chamber wants to reform employment law before that happens.

Even if the bill advances, the Senate would deal with the issue in a different bill. The language of the House bill likely would fit as an amendment to HB 1019, which offers protection for whistleblowers and from work discrimination. HB 1019 was passed earlier this year.

A version of MONA passed the Senate in 2013, but the House did not have enough time to consider the bill.

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