By: Paul Goldberg, Staff Writer

A Republican lawmaker Missouri Rep. Rick Brattin (R-Harrisonville), sent shock waves throughout Missouri’s LGBTQ community and his fellow GOP lawmakers throughout the state when he had the audacity to argue that there is a “distinction” between human beings and those who “identify” as being gay.

Back on Monday May 8, Missouri Rep. Rick Brattin was arguing in the state chamber against an amendment to Senate Bill 43, which would have banned discrimination in employment, housing and public accommodations based on sexual orientation and gender identity in the state.

The current law on the books states that “Residents can be fired from their jobs or evicted from their apartments for being gay, or just being perceived as gay.”

But leave it to the lawmaker who is no stranger to sending out bombshells said he believed extending anti-discrimination protections to LGBTQ Missourians would infringe on religious liberty.

“When you look at the tenets of religion, of the Bible, of the Quran, of other religions,” said Brattin from the Missouri House floor, “there is a distinction between homosexuality and just being a human being.” said Brattin.

The bill’s author, Republican Rep. Kevin Engler, ended up scrapping the amendment when it became clear that there were not enough votes to support it, making Brattin’s statement on queer people even more troubling.

Thanks to Brattin’s outrageous statement, all support for that portion of the measure was scrapped and without any LGBTQ-specific language in the bill, Senate Bill 43 passed with a vote of 98-30 and is now in the hands of Gov. Eric Greitens’ signature.

A Kansas City Star editorial published on Tuesday condemned Rep. Brattin’s remark. “The statement, made on the Missouri House floor, was deplorable,” it read. “It betrayed a stunning lack of understanding of theology and self-government: The Constitution protects all Americans from the tyranny of any single faith-based approach to secular law.

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