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.


  1. JT says

    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?

  2. e.c. says

    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?

  3. Sean says

    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.

  4. Gordon says

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

  5. SoLeftImRight says

    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.

  6. David From Canada says

    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!!

  7. Homo Genius says

    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.

  8. Robert M. says

    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…

  9. kdknyc says

    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.

  10. Zlick says

    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.

  11. Killian says

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

    Old bigots have an expiration date.

  12. says

    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.

  13. Killian says

    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.

  14. SadToSee says


    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

  15. Tim says

    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.

  16. Joe in Ct says

    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.

  17. emjayay says

    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.

  18. Mike B. says

    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.

  19. nine25suit says

    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.

  20. BrokebackBob says

    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.

  21. 1♥ says

    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.

  22. Bryan L says

    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.

  23. Kendall says

    If I read the bill correctly, you can ignore *any* law if it conflicts with your religious beliefs? So, they just legalized all drugs in Mississippi, right?

  24. Jason says

    And so, this means if you’re gay in a small town in Mississippi then you can be denied a tow truck, denied a mechanic’s services, denied a cab ride home, denied police services (hopefully I’m wrong, but that’s a scary idea), denied to buy groceries, denied to sit in a restaurant with your family, denied access to a library card (?), denied dental treatment, denied a doctor, denied, denied.

    I can see how if you’re gay (or just perceived as such) that religious freedom of oppression could be an extreme form of excommunication from your home town. This is crazy.

  25. ThomT says

    The wording of the law will ultimately determine whether it can withstand an immediate, and inevitable, court challenge. If the law specifically states those who may be discriminated against it will fail. If the law specifics a specific religion it will fail. If the law is broad in scope and allows for discrimination against any person based on the “strongly held religious” beliefs of any person of any religion it might slide by. However, if the broader terms are used then those for whom it was written to protect (Christians) must face the reality that the law cannot only be used BY them but it can be used AGAINST them. People of ANY faith other than Christianity who might be offended by the beliefs and behavior of Christians will certainly gain the right to discriminate against Christians. Eventually the “law” itself will either be withdrawn, repealed or found to be unconstitutional.

  26. Armando says

    How is this not establishing one religion, one that discriminates against one that does not as having the state behind them? It’s unconstitutional on its face.