Tuesday, April 05, 2016

Mississippi Governor Signs "Freedom of Conscience" Bill Protecting Anti-LGBT Practices

CBS News reports that Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant today signed into law House Bill 1523, the Freedom of Conscience From Government Discrimination Act passed last week by the legislature. The law protects various actions of government and private businesses based on religious or moral beliefs that marriage is a union of one man and one woman, that sexual relations should be reserved to heterosexual marriage, or that gender is an immutable characteristic determined at birth. (See prior posting). In his signing statement (full text), Bryant said in part:
This bill does not limit any constitutionally protected rights or actions of any citizen of this state under federal or state laws.
Reacting to the governor's statement, the ACLU said (full text) in part:
This is a sad day for the state of Mississippi and for the thousands of Mississippians who can now be turned away from businesses, refused marriage licenses, or denied housing, essential services and needed care based on who they are. This bill flies in the face of the basic American principles of fairness, justice and equality and will not protect anyone's religious liberty.