St. Louis-area firms oppose religious objections measure -

St. Louis-area firms oppose religious objections measure

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ST. LOUIS (AP) - Top executives from some of the St. Louis area's largest companies say Missouri's proposed religious freedom bill could have a devastating impact on the state's economy.

Leaders from Monsanto, MasterCard and other firms joined Gov. Jay Nixon Friday at the St. Louis Regional Chamber to express opposition to Senate Joint Resolution 39. The bill survived a 37-hour filibuster by Senate Democrats.

If approved by the Legislature, it would go to voters.

The proposal calls for amending the state Constitution to create religious protections for some businesses objecting to gay marriage.

The Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry announced its opposition to the bill Thursday.

“Dollars, capital, tourism can be anywhere they want in the world we've got to be the most welcoming and competitive,” says Joe Reagan, President of The Saint Louis Regional Chamber of Commerce.

Reagan says if it passed, the bill would shut out major big ticket events, like the NCAA who he says is watching closely how the bill plays out.

Republican sponsor Sen. Bob Onder, of Lake St. Louis, has disputed claims that the measure could hurt business and says some businesses support the proposed amendment.

“Everything from painters, insurance agents, doctors lawyers support my bill,” says Onder.

He didn’t give out names of businesses, but he did specify which religious organizations support him, from the Missouri Baptist Convention, to the Assembly of God and Missouri Catholic Conference.

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