A Republican lawmaker from Missouri has sparked controversy after making homophobic comments while arguing against the introduction of anti-discrimination protections for LGBT+ citizens, Pink News reports.
Representative Rick Brattin said: “When you look at the tenets of religion, of the Bible, of the Qu’ran, of other religions, there is a distinction between homosexuality and just being a human being.”
Brattin’s comments have been strongly condemned by Missourians with the Kansas City Star publishing an editorial that described Brattin’s slur as a “blemish on the state”.
“The statement, made on the Missouri House floor, was deplorable,” the editorial reads.
“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.
“We asked Rep. Brattin to explain his statement, but he did not return a phone call to his office.”
The politician’s comments were used in his argument against an amendment to Senate Bill 43, that would ban discrimination in employment and housing based on sexual orientation or gender identity.
The amendment was scrapped by the bill’s author - Republican Rep. Kevin Engler - and the original bill will now be sent to Missouri governor Eric Greitans with no mention of LGBT+ protections.
The Kansas City editorial piece continued on to say that the bill “now sits on Gov. Eric Greitens’ desk”.
“The governor has made clear his desire to bring new businesses and jobs to Missouri," it reads. "Supporters say SB 43 [the bill] is part of an effort to make the state more business-friendly. But what business wants to operate in a state that tolerates discrimination? Or a state where a representative thinks gays and lesbians are less than human?"
It goes on to implore that the state shows acceptance, stating that Brattin should apologise for his words: “The states that grow in the 21st century will be those that show tolerance, acceptance and intelligence. Missouri’s lawmakers are sending a clear signal this state is not any of those things. The governor should veto the bill. And Brattin should apologise.”