Mississippi | News

Mississippi Governor To Sign Anti-Gay 'Religious Freedom' Bill

Phil_bryantYesterday, the Mississippi legislature passed a bill that will allow businesses to turn away LGBT people as an "exercise of religion." The state's Governor Phil Bryant has pledged to sign it.

Reuters reports:

The American Civil Liberties Union accused lawmakers of ignoring the public outcry against such measures. It noted legislators in other states, including Georgia, Idaho, Maine and Ohio, had rejected similar measures and Arizona Governor Jan Brewer vetoed her state's version of the bill in February…

Republican Governor Phil Bryant said in a statement provided on Wednesday that he was proud the measure would add the national motto, "In God We Trust," to the state seal.

Jennifer Riley-Collins, executive director of the ACLU of Mississippi told Reuters, "We remain hopeful that courts throughout the state will reject any attempts to use religion to justify discrimination. Nobody should be refused service because of who they are."

The law will go into effect July 1.

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  1. Does this bill actually grant people in MS any more "right" to discriminate than they already had? Were LGBT folks protected at all there to begin with?

    Posted by: JT | Apr 2, 2014 8:49:33 PM

  2. Hey Mississippi, since you recive way more in federal tax dollars than you put in (along with all the rest of those "tea party" red states) if you want to have your religious liberty then I think that my gay tax dollars shouldn't go to subsidise you any more. Sounds fair, right?

    Posted by: e.c. | Apr 2, 2014 8:51:49 PM

  3. This WILL be applied equally to refusing service to anti-gay TRASH.

    LGBT and straight allies in Mississippi, you now have the legal right in that nasty third-worldesque barbarian state to refuse to serve or employ anti-gay "Christian" trash. Have some fun with it and see if they like it.

    If your religious belief is that you should feed "Christians" to lions? Go ahead. State law now says you can.

    Posted by: Sean | Apr 2, 2014 8:53:10 PM

  4. I await the first racial discrimination disguised as "religious freedom", after all, the Bible endorses slavery and so many other tribal emotional diseases.

    Posted by: Gordon | Apr 2, 2014 9:00:02 PM

  5. I'm not big on boycotts, but this is boycott material. Not that I was threatening to go to Mississippi any time soon, but I want to visit every state in the nation at least once in my life, but no Miss until this garbage is sorted out.

    Posted by: SoLeftImRight | Apr 2, 2014 9:06:45 PM

  6. Come on guys, this is Mississippi, the most backward state in America. This shouldn't surprise anyone. If they can screw up someone's civil rights, they will - it just comes naturally to them. I'd hate to see the overall DNA pool down there. Yikes!!

    Posted by: David From Canada | Apr 2, 2014 9:08:24 PM

  7. the state will waste millions in court

    @JT well the point is that say something like ENDA gets passed. And say your job finally clues in you are a pole smoker and cans you... you cant sue. That's really what these laws are about. Its not really about them "reserving the right to refuse service" to anyone but protecting the assholes in court.

    Posted by: Homo Genius | Apr 2, 2014 9:09:52 PM

  8. I like the idea of feeding Christians to lions and as an devotee of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, feeding lions with Christians is part of my sacrament...

    Posted by: Robert M. | Apr 2, 2014 9:31:59 PM

  9. As I understand from reading about this bill, the curious thing about the bill, is that it grants an employer the right to discriminate but not an equal right for an employee to discriminate against the employer.

    Posted by: kdknyc | Apr 2, 2014 9:44:10 PM

  10. So a postal worker could refuse to handle mail with the Harvey Milk Stamp.

    Posted by: Gay Guy | Apr 2, 2014 10:21:44 PM

  11. Frankly, I'm glad. Where else but Mississippi could we expect this law to finally pass? Because only once it does can some gay person or couple be damaged, and then sue in Federal Court on the road to SCOTUS and the end of this once and for all.

    It's the death throes, people. It's not always going to be pretty. But overall, it's going to be sweet.

    Posted by: Zlick | Apr 2, 2014 10:21:47 PM

  12. The law will go into effect on July 1st but by 2020 it will be gone.

    Old bigots have an expiration date.

    Posted by: Killian | Apr 2, 2014 10:26:32 PM

  13. Now these people are truly sick people. I ordered several items on eBay's "But It Now" button only to find they were being shipped from Mississippi. I sent a stern email and cancelled my order. Boycotting Mississippi is much too easy now. I'll buy NOTHING from Mississippi. Disgusting people.

    Posted by: Mike Ryan | Apr 2, 2014 10:31:48 PM

  14. Final thought on this (it's reminding me of Russia and Uganda)

    If, and maybe I am wrong, but if we had more women in leadership positions...none of these horrendous anti-gay, anti-female, anti-anything, any "Ugh I'm straight male f*ck anyone else" things, these "laws" would be around in the god damned 21st century.

    Posted by: Killian | Apr 2, 2014 10:40:16 PM

  15. Surely this will quickly be found unconstitutional.

    Posted by: Dr. Christopher Blackwell | Apr 2, 2014 11:25:13 PM

  16. Killian,

    Unfortunately, homophobia is intergenerational.

    Also, we wouldn't necessarily be better off with '1 million moms', 'concerned women', or 'momscience' type women in leadership... Think Anita Bryant

    Posted by: SadToSee | Apr 2, 2014 11:26:48 PM

  17. Sadtosee: I get your point. But I took what Killian said as, in general, women are more supportive so the odds are better that they wouldn't support stupid stuff. The polls show they're ahead of men on gay equality. Now a woman in Mississippi may still reflect that oppressed, sheltered culture but, in general, the odds may be better than with men. Though that may be changing - the gap may be closing.

    Posted by: Tim | Apr 2, 2014 11:57:06 PM

  18. Too bad there's nothing of substance to boycott in Mississippi. As far as I know, there's no major tourist industry there and there are few corporate headquarters either. The state does seems to be a major hurricane magnet though. God's wrath, no doubt.

    Posted by: Joe in Ct | Apr 3, 2014 12:12:22 AM

  19. Meanwhile, In God We Trust has no business being on coins or being some kind of national motto either. Turns out it's in the Star Spangled Banner and was first put on coins during the Civil War and then at the peak of the Cold War in 1956 became the official national motto.

    Constitutional or not, since a substantial number of Americans do not trust in God since you can't trust something that doesn't exist, it should not be a national anything.

    Posted by: emjayay | Apr 3, 2014 12:56:13 AM

  20. These people are biggots. I'm sorry but that's what they are.

    Posted by: John Hollywood | Apr 3, 2014 1:51:51 AM

  21. It is my fervent hope that this law is used to support racial discrimination; so that the irrational discrimination behind the law can be more apparently illustrated.

    Posted by: Mike B. | Apr 3, 2014 2:01:54 AM

  22. The governor is excited to have "...the national motto. "In God We Trust"" added to their state seal? That isn't our national motto. Our national motto is "E Pluribus Unum" ("Out of many, one"). What a joke.

    Posted by: nine25suit | Apr 3, 2014 7:14:10 AM

  23. Stay out of Texas and Mississippi. They are both dangerous states for anyone to travel to but for different reasons and being gay is only one of many characteristics that could get you hung up from a tree.

    Posted by: BrokebackBob | Apr 3, 2014 7:38:30 AM

  24. This is just another example of Christian’s special rights. Without the hatred of homophobia Christians wouldn’t have a religion. Christianity has nothing to do with loving God or loving your fellow man, it’s ALL about using religion to promote hatred and bigotry.
    Jesus died in vain.

    Posted by: 1♥ | Apr 3, 2014 9:24:39 AM

  25. Mississippi has more churches per capita than any other state in the country, so I don’t think it’s too surprising that the legislature there passed the so-called “religious freedom bill” and the governor signed it. Southern Baptists, evangelical Christians and other fundamentalist faiths dominate Mississippi’s religious life, and, thereby, have a huge influence on the lack of any social progress whatsoever.

    I was born in Mississippi in 1947 and return there twice a year to visit my sweet, loving and totally accepting family. However, I’m always happy to get the hell out of the Deep South.

    Posted by: Bryan L | Apr 3, 2014 11:04:50 AM

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