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Gay Rights

February 1, 2000
By: Missy Shelton
State Capital Bureau

One Missouri senator crusades to get protection in the workplace for homosexuals.

Missy Shelton has the story from Jefferson City.

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Heather Dye lost her job as a security officer at a St Louis bank.

It happened three weeks after her boss gave her an exemplory review and two and a half weeks after her boss found out she's gay.

Senator Lacey Clay of St Louis wants to make sure people like Heather Dye can't lose their job because of their sexual orientation.

But there's opposition from people like Kerry Messer of the Missouri Family Network.

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But Dye says she has rights.

Rights she fought for.

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Dye says one of the things she finds so disturbing about the situation surrounding her dismissal from the job is how it was handled and the fact that it came so soon after a positive review.

She says she is still stunned.

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Messer and his organization also oppose the part of the bill that prevents discrimination based on sexual orientation in housing.

He says there could be some conflict with a landlord's personal beliefs that would keep them from wanting to rent or lease to people who aren't heterosexuals.

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There hasn't been a vote on this bill. The Human Rights Commission went on record at a recent hearing in support of the legislation. It would be up to that group to look into allegations of discrimination based on sexual orientation.

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