A Missouri lawmaker said Tuesday she supported protecting LGBT people from discrimination because of her Republican beliefs, not in spite of them.
"As a Republican, I just find it hard to believe that if we are the party of small government, why are we in people's bedrooms?" state Rep. Anne Zerr told Progress Missouri. "I think we ought to just stay away from that and let people live their own lives, and I think cosponsoring this bill is kind of a statement in that regard. There really are gay people, and they exist, and they deserve the same rights as all of us do. That is, plain and simple, the way we should live our lives."
Zerr has cosponsored the the Missouri Nondiscrimination Act, which was introduced by state Rep. Stephen Webber, a Democrat.
"They deserve the right to be themselves," Zerr added. "If there are no protections, there is obviously some problems."
The bill would expand Missouri's anti-discrimination laws to cover sexual orientation and gender identity. Similar legislation has been introduced to the state's Senate.
"Right now in Missouri, you can be fired, be evicted from your apartment or be kicked out of a restaurant just because you are LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender)," said A.J. Bockelman, the executive director of PROMO. "That's just wrong. But we are very encouraged by the growing bipartisan support for simple updates to state law that would fix this injustice."
Watch video, uploaded to YouTube by Progress Missouri, below: