Black Religious Leaders Decry Missouri Bills as Biased - Word&Way

Black Religious Leaders Decry Missouri Bills as Biased

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Black religious leaders on Thursday (May 6) rallied at the Missouri Capitol and met with political leaders to denounce pending bills that they say are racially biased.

Darryl Gray speaks along with other clergy and activists on the steps of the Missouri Capitol on May 6, 2021. (Brian Kaylor/Word&Way)

The Reverend Darryl Gray, a longtime St. Louis activist and Baptist minister who organized the event, said faith leaders planned to meet with lawmakers, Republican Gov. Mike Parson and Republican Attorney General Eric Schmitt’s staff.

Gray said in a statement that religious leaders are trying to convince lawmakers to drop legislation that he called “dangerous, discriminatory, and anti democratic.”

Gray said Black leaders are concerned about bills that would make it more difficult for citizens to put issues on the ballot. He also said they’re outraged about lawmakers refusing to pay for voter-approved Medicaid expansion, and raised issues with legislation that would crack down on protesters who block highways.

Gray cautioned that “those who would engage in taking away our rights and freedoms will be remembered next election.”

Lawmakers face a May 14 deadline to send bills to Parson.

Black clergy gather outside the Missouri State Capitol on May 6, 2021. (Brian Kaylor/Word&Way)