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Missouri Governor Jay Nixon has vetoed Senate Bill 188, stating that to thrive in a global economy, Missouri must be a state that continues to move forward – not backward – when it comes to civil rights and equal opportunity.

“Senate Bill 188 would undermine key provisions of the Missouri Human Rights Act, rolling back decades of progress in protecting civil rights,” Gov. Nixon said.  “Missourians have an obligation to put a stop to discrimination and dismantle barriers of prejudice wherever they exist – in the workplace, in housing or in the public square.”

Gov. Nixon noted that on paper, the Missouri Human Rights Act says that it is unlawful to discriminate based on race, color, religion, national origin, sex, ancestry, age, or disability.   He added, “But it is more than words on paper.  It is a living covenant … and a call to action.  It calls us to treat all people with dignity and respect.  It calls us to root out discrimination wherever it festers in our state,” he said.

During a ceremony on the steps of the Old Courthouse in downtown St. Louis, Gov. Nixon concluded, “We live in a world where the boundaries of time, distance and culture are collapsing at the touch of a finger. Technology allows us to bear witness to the triumphs and tragedies of the human condition – from tsunamis to revolutions – in real time.  We will create new opportunities, and solve mankind’s most pressing problems, as allies.”