March 9, 2016 at 5:50 pm EDT | by Chris Johnson
White House: Mo. anti-gay measure ‘inconsistent’ with fairness
Josh Earnest, White House, Barack Obama Administration, press, gay news, Washington Blade

White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said the Missouri measure sounds “inconsistent” with values of fairness. (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

After the Missouri Senate passed on Wednesday a religious freedom measure seen to enable anti-LGBT discrimination despite a 39-hour filibuster from Democrats, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said the resolution sounds “inconsistent” with fairness and other values.

Earnest made the comments in response to a question from the Washington Blade on whether President Obama would declare support for the filibuster and opposition to the measure just as Hillary Clinton and Bernard Sanders did via Twitter on Tuesday night.

The White House spokesperson said he hasn’t seen the details of the measure, Senate Joint Resolution 39, but based on the way the Blade described it said, “it certainly sounds as if that particular bill would be inconsistent with the values of justice and fairness and equality that this administration has long pursued.”

“And again, if we have more specific response to the actual bill, I’ll let you know, but the president is quite proud of how over the last seven years we sought to advance equality in this country, and it’d be a shame if a bill like the one that you described were to deal that a setback,” Earnest added.

The resolution pending before the Missouri Legislature would allow religious organizations and individuals to deny services to same-sex couples out of religious objections. If the Missouri House follows suit in approving the measure, it’ll head to the ballot for voters to ratify on Election Day as a state constitutional amendment.

A native of Kansas City, Mo., Earnest indicated he wouldn’t be happy if his home state enacted a measure that would allow anti-LGBT discrimination in the name of religious freedom.

“It certainly would not be the first thing that I would be bragging about if that were something that my home state were to choose to do,” Earnest said.

Chris Johnson is Chief Political & White House Reporter for the Washington Blade. Johnson attends the daily White House press briefings and is a member of the White House Correspondents' Association. Follow Chris

1 Comment
  • Well, here we go again with a new round of anti-gay ballot measures this time in the guise of religious freedom. If it makes it to the ballot and becomes law, then we’ll have to fight these off state by state like we had to fight of anti marriage equality measures. This will get a lot more ugly before it gets better. I knew there would be a backlash as there always is whenever we have a major victory.

    When will you complacent queens finally learn that social conservatives won’t give up on opposing our equality and freedom anymore than they have given up on abortion rights? They simply find another venue to attack us. Stop assuming your rights are safe and we are completely accepted now by the mainstream or the younger generation. Seeing yourself depicted in a positive light by TV shows put out by Hollywood doesn’t mean people like you or accept you. We may have legal battles again that will make it to the SCOTUS over this issue once again.

    All the more reason why the vacancy by Scalia and others likely over the next four years need to be filled by a Democratic President and not a conservative one! Remember that most of our legal rights have been defined and upheld by the courts not the legislature.

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