Friday, June 23, 2017

5th Circuit: Plaintiffs Lack Standing to Challenge Mississippi's Anti-LGBT Conscience Law

In Barber v. Bryant, (5th Cir., June 22, 2017), the U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals dismissed for lack of standing two suits challenging Mississippi's HB 1523 which protects against discriminatory action by state government anyone who acts in accordance with his or her religious beliefs or moral convictions on three topics.  The protected beliefs are that marriage is only between one man and one woman, sexual relations are reserved to such marriages, and gender is determined by anatomy and genetics at the time of birth.  The district court had concluded that the statute violates the Establishment Clause and Equal Protection Clause. (See prior posting.) However the 5th Circuit concluded that plaintiffs had alleged nothing more than "a general stigmatic injury," and this is insufficient for standing. MS News Now reports on reactions to the decision.