The current human rights act in Missouri says, to discriminate against any person because of “race, color, religion, national origin, ancestry, sex, disability, or familial status” is illegal, but it doesn’t cover gender identity and sexual orientation. It’s not just in Missouri, right now 29 states have no protections for sexual orientation and 34 have no discrimination protections for transgender individuals.
Aaron Malin is the co-founder of Missourians for Equality, an organization that is attempting to take the issue of employment and housing discrimination of LGBT members to a ballot in 2014. The proposal would be an amendment to the current legal definition of discrimination in Missouri.
The Columbia Housing Authority’s policy will be updated to better comply with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s definition of family. The CHA will define family as any individual or group living together.
This definition aims to eliminate discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity and marital status. Phil Steinhaus, CEO of the Columbia Housing Authority, said the CHA has already based it’s program on the inclusive definition and the text change is just a formality.
The Springfield City Council voted to table a proposal to expand the city's nondiscrimination ordinance.
The city is considering prohibiting discrimination in housing, employment and public accommodations based on sexual orientation and gender identity. The council was considering Monday night whether to vote on the issue or put it to a public vote.
Instead, the council voted 7-2 to postpone action on the ordinance.
The city will instead appoint a task force to work toward a compromise on an issue that has created passionate debate for weeks.