Lieutenant Governor Peter Kinder on Tuesday night testified in support of SJR 39, a measure that if approved by the Legislature would allow Missouri voters the opportunity to decide whether the state constitution should be amended to protect Missourians’ religious freedoms.

Kinder’s testimony was part of a five-hour hearing before the House Emerging Issues Committee.

“SJR 39 boils down to a simple question, whether Missourians should be given the chance to decide whether the Missouri constitution should be amended to provide vital protections for all Missourians’ religious liberties,” Kinder said. “This is not about discrimination, as opponents are trying to spin it. It is purely about letting voters have a voice on reserving a zone of protected activity based on their sincere religious convictions.”

Kinder continued, “This zone of religious liberty is a foundational principle of America… a morally, legally, philosophically, and ideologically neutral principle available to all comers.”

“SJR39 is but another piece of the fabric of religious liberty that everyone in America enjoys, whether Christian, Jewish, Mormon, Muslim, Hindu or atheist,” Kinder said.

Ultimately, he said, the voters of Missouri should have the final say. Kinder concluded, “I’m really disappointed that in this heated debate there are those who want to foreclose that public debate and deny the people of Missouri the chance to hear that debate and decide for themselves what goes in our constitution.”

SJR 39 has passed the Missouri Senate and is currently awaiting a vote in the House Committee.