The executive branch of the State of Missouri shall ensure that all present and prospective employees are afforded equal opportunity at all levels and phases of employment within state government with respect to, but not limited to, hiring, recruiting, training, benefits, promotions, transfers, layoffs, demotions, terminations, rate of compensation, and recalls from layoffs. It shall be the responsibility of the State Office of Equal Employment Opportunity to monitor all departments of the executive branch of state government and assist them to ensure equal employment opportunity. The State of Missouri shall work to ensure that there will be no vestiges of discrimination against persons on account of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, ancestry, age, sexual orientation, veteran status, or disability; not only in employment practices but in the provision of services and the operation of facilities.
PROMO see the order as a big step forward for a state that became the first in the nation to ban same sex marriages in 2004 (that amendment “picked up 70 percent of the vote and was endorsed in every county but St. Louis city”), and believes that it signals the governor’s support for The Missouri Nondiscrimination Act (MONA), a measure that would extend anti-discrimination protections to public and private institutions.
But the governor’s spokesperson, Scott Holste, cautioned me against viewing this as a move in that direction. “The Governor believes that Missouri should work to ensure that there won’t be any vestiges of discrimination,” Holste said, but stressed that Nixon has not expressed support for a broader anti-discrimination measure that goes beyond the Executive branch. “That’s an issue that we will have to address at another time,” he said. Nixon’s order is the first of its kind in Missouri.