Photo credit: Kurt Erickson
By Kurt Erickson
A business group aligned with Republican lawmakers says a controversial same-sex marriage proposal moving through the Missouri Legislature would have a “detrimental impact” on the state’s economy.
In a statement issued Thursday, the Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry said it opposes Senate Joint Resolution 39, which became the subject of a 37-hour filibuster in the Senate last week and put the state under a national microscope.
“You can’t ignore the economic backlash that has occurred in other states considering this type of legislation,” chamber President and CEO Dan Mehan said in a statement. “We do not want that in Missouri.”
The lobbying organization, which represents an estimated 50,000 employers, said it worked with legislators to alter the proposed constitutional amendment to remove the business community from the effects of the changes.
“These attempts were unsuccessful,” the statement noted.
But Republican sponsor Sen. Bob Onder, of Lake Saint Louis, said, “They seem to be making this general claim that somehow SJR 39 would be bad for the Missouri economy. They’re making that statement without any proof at all.”
The proposal would ask voters if they want to amend the state constitution to shield religious groups and businesses from being involved in same-sex weddings. Opponents say the measure is written broadly enough that it also could result in gay people being denied housing, employment and social services.