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Georgia recently vetoed a bill which protects homophobia. The same bill was passed in Missouri, leaving us wondering why Missouri is now less progressive than Georgia.

The bill was passed March 9 and protects religious freedoms while permitting discrimination.

This bill will allow religious groups and organizations to deny someone because of his or her sexual orientation. This means that any religious group will be protected from having to facilitate a same-sex marriage.

            We saw with something like this with the Kim Davis controversy in Kentucky when Davis refused to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples and was later jailed for refusing to follow a federal court order.

            The passing of this bill now allows for someone to discriminate because he or she finds the action immoral. This bill would allow for someone like Kim Davis to refuse service to a same-sex couple even though they are legally allowed to be together in marriage.

            We feel that this bill is a huge step backwards for Missouri. This bill is no different than any other bill that would protect discrimination. Refusing service to anyone because you do not approve of his or her way of life is wrong no matter what.

            Although you may not approve of someone’s ethics or lifestyle does not mean you can refuse service or discriminate. This feels no different than the racial discrimination America saw 60 years ago.

To see that America has made such little change in blatant discrimination against the LGBT community is wrong and something we are somewhat surprised to see happen in Missouri.

People are allowed to have their own religious views, but when they rely on their religious views to excuse discrimination, they are not doing religion any favors, they are making the religion look worse.

This is a new age, and same-sex marriage is highly accepted. According to the Pew Research Center, in 2001, 57 percent of Americans opposed same-sex marriage. The number of Americans who oppose same-sex marriage in 2015 reached a low at 39 percent with 55 percent now favoring same-sex marriage rights.

These numbers show the changing of minds of Americans as well as the changing of standards and acceptance. The people who still oppose need to realize that there are things much worse in the world than letting two people of the same sex fall in love and get married.

People who cite religion as the reason for their homophobia are big reasons this country can not move forward to a more progressive and peaceful place.

We can understand if a priest or preacher is uncomfortable with facilitating a same-sex marriage, but other organizations need to be happy they are getting the business and accept these people and allow them to get their marriage licenses and wedding cakes.

We must focus on things more important than this, and we believe Missouri needs to take this back to court and get the bill overturned, as this is a disgrace to see in the state we live in. A bill that protects and encourages discrimination is not a bill we want in Missouri.

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