More Discrimination Protection in Missouri State Goverment

The following is an article by Virginia Young from STLtoday.com:

JEFFERSON CITY — A group representing gays and lesbians is celebrating a declaration by Gov. Jay Nixon that says state government shouldn’t discriminate against its employees based on their sexual orientation.

Though the statement has no force of law, it establishes a clear policy for the executive branch and is a “major stepping stone to achieving a statewide” anti-discrimination law, said A.J. Bockelman, executive director of the gay rights group known as PROMO.

Nixon buried the nugget of news in an executive order he issued earlier this month at a convention of the NAACP.

State law already bars employment discrimination based on race, color, religion, national origin, sex, ancestry, age, and disability. Nixon’s order added sexual orientation and veteran status to the list of protected categories for state workers.

The order called for the state to treat its employees equally in regard to hiring, recruiting, training, benefits, promotions, transfers, layoffs, demotions, terminations, rate of compensation, and recalls from layoffs.

Equal treatment also should apply in the way state services and facilities operate, the order says.

Scott Holste, a spokesman for Nixon, said the move “was not aimed at any particular group. It sends a message that Missouri will not discriminate in any of these categories.”

Nixon hasn’t always drawn praise from gays and lesbians. Some were irked in 2008 when, as Missouri’s attorney general, he urged delay of a California court ruling allowing same-sex marriages.

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