Tuesday, August 02, 2016

Court Refuses Stay Pending Appeal In Challenge To Mississippi Anti-LGBT Conscience Law

In Barber v. Bryant, (SD MS, Aug. 1, 2016), a Mississippi federal district court refused to stay pending appeal its earlier order granting a preliminary injunction against Mississippi House Bill 1523, the Protecting Freedom of Conscience from Government Discrimination Act. (See prior posting.)  The Act protects a wide variety of conduct reflecting disapproval of, or refusals to provide goods and services to, members of the LGBT community.  The court rejected movants' claim that they are likely to succeed on the merits of their appeal that defends the law. Responding to movants' argument that "HB 1523 is akin to federal exemption laws protecting pacifists and abortion opponents," the court said:
issuing a marriage license to a gay couple is not like being forced into armed combat or to assist with an abortion. Matters of life and death are sui generis. If movants truly believe that providing services to LGBT citizens forces them to “tinker with the machinery of death,” their animus exceeds anything seen in Romer, Windsor, or the marriage equality cases.
Buzz Feed reports on the decision.