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Politics
Covering state lawmakers, bills, and policy emerging from Jefferson City.

Legislator Wants Sexual Orientation Added to Workplace Discrimination Law

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Steve Fines
/
KSMU

A Missouri Republican representative says sexual orientation should be added to the list of minorities under work place discrimination law.

The passionate speech by Representative Kevin Engler came one day after voters in Springfield narrowly repealed expansion of its non-discrimination ordinance protecting LGBT persons.

Engler, a former Senate majority leader, said on the House floor Wednesday that he wants sexual orientation to be added to work place discrimination law.

The comments came while lawmakers debated a bill raising the burden of proof for employees who file discriminatory lawsuits.

“So I'm going to vote for this bill because it needs to be done, the level needs to be raised to show people that you're firing them because of that reason, but we should be including sexual orientation in this,” Engler said.

The House gave the bill initial approval.

On Tuesday, 51.4 percent of Springfield voters said "yes" to repeal the expanded non-discrimination ordinance that City Council had approved in October. The law was sent before voters following a successful referendum petition.

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