KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Michael Sam may be carrying the flag for LGBT America — but he couldn’t carry MONA over the goal line.
The Missouri Nondiscrimination Act, or MONA — House Bill 1930 — was not put forward for a vote on Friday before Missouri’s General Assembly adjourned. MONA would expand the Human Rights Statute of Missouri to protect sexual orientation and gender identity for employees.
Under current state law, workers in Missouri are not legally protected against discrimination because of their sexual orientation or gender identity.
Advocates for MONA were hoping Sam, who last Saturday night became the first openly gay prospect ever selected in the NFL Draft when the St. Louis Rams took him in the seventh round, might be the impetus for lawmakers to vote on the bill.
The state of Missouri has had a constitutional ban on gay marriage since 2004, but MONA was passed by the Missouri senate a year ago.
When the session ended early Friday night before MONA came to a vote, the advocacy group PROMO Missouri reacted via its Twitter feed:
Dear #MOLeg, we know #MONA will pass, just a matter of time. We won't give up hope until ALL Missourians are protected.
"On behalf of the 541 businesses in support of workplace protections, we express disappointment no vote was taken on MONA," said A.J. Bockelman, PROMO’s executive director. "We are humbled and grateful for the businesses that supported MONA and made a bold decision to stand up for basic protections for LGBT Missourians. We also want to thank our incredible leader Senator Jolie Justus for her service and work on MONA throughout the years. We know from our efforts this year there is political will to get this done. There is currently not enough courage to get the vote right now."
Progress Missouri also weighed in, via Twitter:
The #MOLeg doesn’t have to be this terrible. An election’s coming.