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Mississippi House Strikes 'Religious Liberty' Text From Anti-Gay Bill, Sends It To Study Committee

MSflagThe "religious liberty" bill proposed in Mississippi, whose language follows in the footsteps of the Arizona bill vetoed last month by Gov. Jan Brewer by allowing for anti-gay discrimination by businesses based on religious beliefs, has been passed on to a study committee to be reviewed further. The committee will research how best to pass the bill later on, and for now the text citing "religious liberty" has been struck from it.

Think Progress reports:

This leaves the fate of the bill in question. If it goes to conference between the House and Senate, the problematic language could be added back to it. In addition, the new study committee could meet in the near future and offer some version of the bill quite soon. Lawmakers with concerns about the original language pointed out that the study committee might very well investigate new ways to create the same “license to discriminate” that led to their objections in the first place.

Mississippi law's definition of "person" encompasses businesses, so passage of a "religious liberty" bill of any kind would, like Arizona, provide for businesses to discriminate openly against the LGBT community. There has been backlash in Mississippi, though, which again echoes the events leading up to the Arizona decision.

Many Mississippi religious leaders opposed the bill, suggesting lawmakers’ efforts “eerily echo Jim Crow laws that robbed African Americans of their basic human dignity.”

Hopefully the bill will lose steam in the committee as activism and opposition mounts. 

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  1. So maybe now the African American community can see the parallels between how they were/are treated and how the gay community is treated. If they discriminate against one group one day, they can go after another group the next.

    Posted by: Jack M | Mar 14, 2014 9:30:57 AM

  2. There are gay African-Americans.

    Posted by: oncemorewithfeeling | Mar 14, 2014 9:49:49 AM

  3. Well I am part of the Gay Community. Guess I'll be ok since this is directed at they LGBT community which I assume is some condo development in florida. I'd have to consult google maps to actually find it

    Posted by: Homo Genius | Mar 14, 2014 11:28:18 AM

  4. Isn't striking language from a bill then putting it back in after they've agreed to vote on it, like striking a clause from a bill before it becomes law then putting it back in after it's signed? ("Well we put the clause back in because it still follows the law's intent." ... Ah... No, the law doesn't work that way, or at least it shouldn't.)

    Posted by: SFRowGuy | Mar 14, 2014 1:43:20 PM

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