religious freedom

 JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Some Missouri business leaders are forming a coalition against a proposal that would protect some businesses that object to same-sex marriage on religious grounds.

State LGBT advocacy group PROMO announced the coalition hours before a scheduled House hearing on the legislation Tuesday.

More than 60 businesses have joined the group Missouri Competes, including Square and Google Fiber.

William Murphy via Flickr

The director of the Kansas City Sports Commission says the city could lose more than $50 million if voters approve a constitutional amendment that would allow Missouri business owners to cite their religious beliefs when refusing services for same-sex weddings.

Bernard Pollack / Flickr

JEFFERSON CITY - Governor Jay Nixon says a proposed constitutional amendment granting religious exemptions to some business owners opposed to gay marriage could be "harmful to our economy."

The Democratic governor also said Wednesday that the measure would "condone discrimination" and urged the House to oppose it.

Following a firestorm of criticism, Republican governors in Indiana and Arkansas signed revised versions of their states' Religious Freedom Restoration bills Thursday night. In Indiana the language was adjusted, and in Arkansas it was significantly scaled back to more closely align with the federal law.

A controversial law in Indiana has made its way into the 2016 presidential race. Supporters praise the Religious Freedom Restoration Act's for protecting religious convictions, but the law has drawn wide criticism from those who say it allows businesses to discriminate against gay and lesbian patrons.

For the past year, KBIA has been working on a special long-form story about a place in Northeast Missouri called Heartland. It’s a story with threads of religion, law, business, and morality that all end in a knot, in the middle of a cornfield.


U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt is touting passage of legislation that authorizes the appointment of a special ambassador to the Middle East focused on religious freedom.

According to a recent poll, two-thirds of Americans believe that media coverage of religion is too sensationalized. So how could journalists best cover the subject in a fair and balanced way? To find out, Global Journalist spoke to two journalists that have devoted years to the religion beat.

Missouri is one of nine states where lawmakers are forming caucuses they say will focus on preserving religious freedom.

Departing State Representative Mike McGhee (R, Odessa) is organizing Missouri’s caucus.  He says one of their functions will be to consult with lawmakers in other states on making sure that the language used in bills doesn’t result in the erosion of religious rights.

Kellie Kotraba/ColumbiaFAVS / KBIA

Columbia’s Mormon congregations celebrated religious freedom this morning and marked an event from the church’s history.