Missouri State Senators Filibuster for 36 Hours to Stop Religious Freedom Law

PHOTO: The Missouri State Capitol Building is seen here in this undated file photo.Getty Images
The Missouri State Capitol Building is seen here in this undated file photo.

A group of Missouri senators filibustered for 36 hours this week to stop a vote on a religious freedom measure that they said would discriminate against lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) individuals.

Eight Democratic lawmakers in the Missouri state senate are opposed to a Republican-sponsored resolution that protected the religious freedom of people who oppose same-sex marriage. More specifically, the measure would let Missourians vote on a constitutional amendment that says the state cannot penalize individuals or religious organizations who refuse to perform same-sex marriages or be involved in a same-sex wedding.

Similar to the debate over religious freedom laws in other states, the proposal led to a stalemate over whether it protected the right of people with strong religious beliefs or infringed on the rights of individuals to marry who they want. As the Democrats held the floor to prevent a vote, Republicans and outside groups chimed in on both sides of the debate.

Democratic presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders both said they support the filibuster.

According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, this filibuster was not the longest in Missouri's history. That distinction goes to the 1991 debate over an abortion measure that stretched 38 hours over six days.