James Joins Other Mayors in Brief Supporting Same Sex Marriage
March 6, 2015

Kansas City Mayor Sly James is joining more than 200 mayors with a friend of the court brief to the US Supreme Court in support of same sex marriages.
The High Court is expected to issue a ruling on the issue by the end of this term in June.
The Court says it will hear oral arguments in the case in April.
Kansas City offers its benefits package to city employee who are in same sex relationships.
The city has included sexual orientation in its non discriminatory policies for more than 20 years.
Domestic partner benefits have been part of the city package for eight years.
” By supporting this brief today, we confirm our belief that marriage equality is the right thing to pursue, and that this belief reflects the culture of our welcoming community,” James stated in a news release.
The statement says the same brief to the Supreme Court is supported by several local government groups including the U.S. Conference of Mayors, the International Municipal Lawyers Association and the National League of Cities.

Missouri Religious Freedom Bill Knocked By Nixon
March 1, 2014

KC Star:

A bill giving Missouri business owners the right to refuse service to individuals on religious grounds drew a rebuke Friday from Gov. Jay Nixon.

Republican Sen. Wayne Wallingford of Cape Girardeau said he introduced the legislation to ensure that the government is not able to force individuals to violate their religious beliefs.

But opponents have condemned it as a way for businesses to discriminate against anyone they do not like, most notably gays and lesbians.

“Gov. Nixon believes we should be working to end discrimination, not passing unnecessary bills that would condone it,” Scott Holste, the governor’s press secretary, said in a statement to The Star.

State law currently bars discrimination based upon race, color, religion, national origin, ancestry, sex and disability in employment, housing and public accommodations.

During his State of the State address in January, the Democratic governor called on lawmakers to add sexual orientation to the list.

Wallingford was one of nine Republicans who joined with Democrats last year in the final moments of the legislative session to pass a ban on discrimination based on sexual orientation.

The bill died in the House.

Wallingford said he still supports banning discrimination in the workplace, but he also wants stronger protection for religious convictions.

“There’s nothing in my bill that talks about gays or lesbians or discrimination,” he said Thursday in an interview with St. Louis radio station KMOX.