Discrimination | Mississippi | News

Anti-Gay Mississippi Law Takes Effect

Senate Bill No. 2681, a law allowing businesses to refuse LGBT identified people service went into effect on Tuesday.

ImageBetter known as the Mississippi Religious Freedom Restoration Act, the provision enables businesses to cite religious beliefs as a legitimate reason to turn customers away.

Sponsored by conservative Baptist pastor and state senator Philip Gandy, SB2681 was met with unabashed support from Mississippi's governor, Phil Bryant (pictured, below). “I am proud to sign the Mississippi Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which will protect the individual religious freedom of Mississippians of all faiths from government interference,” Gov. Phil Bryant said in a statement.

BryantOpposition to the bill, however, is widespread. If You're Buying, We're Selling is a coalition of local Mississippi businesses dedicated to stand against SB2681. The group distributes stickers to organizations wishing to display their opposition to the bill in their storefronts, letting consumers know that they're more than glad to serve any and all patrons.

John Curence, a Mississippi-based chef, has become one of the most prominent and vocal voices opposing the bill. "More than anything else, the law sends a terrible message about the state if consciousness in the state of Mississippi," Currence told the New York Times. "We are not going to sit idly by and watch Jim Crow get revived in our state."

Currence recently found himself face to face with Gov. Bryant through the 35th annual Central Park summer picnic thrown by the New York Mississippi Society. Booked months before Bryant threw his support behind SB2681, Currence turned the awkward conflict of interests into an opportunity. The following evening Currence and fellow chef Kelly English organized The Big Gay Mississippi Welcome Table, a protest dinner.

If, as supporters of the bill claimed, the law was simply trying to protect freedom of speech, the the governor need only attend Currence's protest dinner and state as much. Rather than accepting the invitation, Currence explained in an interview with Buzzfeed, the governor's office responded with hostility: “I got a phone call, a dressing down by the governor’s office — they wanted to know why I would embarrass the governor like this. And then it f**king dawned on me: You a**holes don’t f**king talk to me like a sixth-grader in the principal’s office, I’m a 50-year-old man. More to the point, I’m on the right f**king side of this thing. All you a**holes have to do is come to dinner.”

Read the full text of SB2681 AFTER THE JUMP...

Mississippi Religious Freedom Restoration Act [SB 2681] SB 2681 Mississippi by Leonardo Blair

 

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Comments

  1. How long is it going to take for these laws to be found unconstitutional?

    Btw, waiting for the backfire to drop since it seems now any discrimination is now legal.

    Posted by: McMike | Jul 6, 2014 10:49:09 AM


  2. And what state was just named the most corrupt state in the U.S. gleaned by an extensive study by Fortune Magazine?
    MISSISSIPPI Hmmmmmm......

    Posted by: Rob | Jul 6, 2014 11:01:18 AM


  3. @McMike
    With the current Supreme Court, at least two decades. They have already firmly established that you can do whatever you want and ignore any law if you cite religion.

    Posted by: Steve | Jul 6, 2014 11:56:11 AM


  4. Can your legal team confirm your first sentence is accurate and not overblown? I may be wrong, but I think the bill allows discriminatory "state action" only and does not permit private business to discriminate based on religious convictions.

    Posted by: peter | Jul 6, 2014 1:08:00 PM


  5. Where's Jim Crow? Oh there he is!

    Let 'sippi's great brain-drain re-commence!

    Posted by: There | Jul 6, 2014 1:12:14 PM


  6. peter,

    I assume that you are not American. In the USA, the American Constitution prevents the state from discrimination based on religious belief. It would be obviously unconstitutional to pass a law allowing the state to discriminate against its residents and other based on a designated religion.

    This law is intended as a way for private businesses to discriminate against gays (and others) based religious beliefs of business owners.

    What's to stop someone from refusing to serve an unmarried woman a drink or rent her a car because the business owner feels doing so violates his religion? Not much.

    This law continues to demonstrate how Mississippi is still a land of bigotry and stupidity.

    Posted by: Mark | Jul 6, 2014 1:43:18 PM


  7. peter,

    I assume that you are not American. In the USA, the American Constitution prevents the state from discrimination based on religious belief. It would be obviously unconstitutional to pass a law allowing the state to discriminate against its residents and other based on a designated religion.

    This law is intended as a way for private businesses to discriminate against gays (and others) based religious beliefs of business owners.

    What's to stop someone from refusing to serve an unmarried woman a drink or rent her a car because the business owner feels doing so violates his religion? Not much.

    This law continues to demonstrate how Mississippi is still a land of bigotry and stupidity.

    Posted by: Mark | Jul 6, 2014 1:43:19 PM


  8. peter,

    I assume that you are not American. In the USA, the American Constitution prevents the state from discrimination based on religious belief. It would be obviously unconstitutional to pass a law allowing the state to discriminate against its residents and other based on a designated religion.

    This law is intended as a way for private businesses to discriminate against gays (and others) based religious beliefs of business owners.

    What's to stop someone from refusing to serve an unmarried woman a drink or rent her a car because the business owner feels doing so violates his religion? Not much.

    This law continues to demonstrate how Mississippi is still a land of bigotry and stupidity.

    Posted by: Mark | Jul 6, 2014 1:43:29 PM


  9. The law didn't suddenly enable businesses in Mississippi to discriminate against gay people, because that's already legal. It's worse than that. This is a state-level RFRA, which gives Christians a blanket exemption from any law they find objectionable. It's a nearly identical law at the federal level that allowed Hobby Lobby to get an exemption from Obamacare. I really wish the reporting on this were more clear.

    Posted by: Merv | Jul 6, 2014 1:48:40 PM


  10. So, lawsuits will follow, the case will make it to the Supreme Court and Mississippi's law will be upheld based on the precedent set by SCOTUS in the Hobby Lobby ruling. Afterwards, there will be a tidal wave of such laws passed in Republican-controlled states' legislatures and LGBT equality will be set back decades. The next round of marriage-equality cases that reach SCOTUS will also be decided negatively for LGBT people based on the Hobby Lobby decision. This Supreme Court will end up being the most reactionary anti-woman, anti-freedom, anti-LGBT, anti-equality Supreme Court in history that might possibly be modified only by Constitutional amendments which are nigh impossible to ratify. What they will leave behind are a string of increasingly-regressive decisions that will destroy the civil rights gains of the past 60 years for everybody. Elections have consequences. Vote in November and vote wisely. Your freedom, your privacy, your lives depend upon it.

    Posted by: jamal49 | Jul 6, 2014 2:40:42 PM


  11. The Hobby Lobby ruling was clearly a mistake by this court (even the court was sheepish about it, and tried to make it seem limited).

    The shame of the Roberts Court is likely to be enough to recognize the unconstitutionality of the Mississippi hate law.

    Even the Roberts Court isn't that consistently stupid. (It's just inconsistently stupid...)

    Posted by: TonyJazz | Jul 6, 2014 3:18:59 PM


  12. I do have to give credit to Master Chef John Currence for standing on our side. (I highly suggest you read the BuzzFeed article by Wyatt Williams.) I've never heard of him before but I know who he is now. And am grateful for his support.

    Posted by: MickyFlip | Jul 6, 2014 3:52:10 PM


  13. The Hobby case was only 5-4. It is not that pessimistic. A future court will correct this. Obama was naughty to put all women into SCOTUS since we know women on average outlive men.

    Posted by: simon | Jul 6, 2014 4:07:03 PM


  14. I wonder what will happen when some wise-guy running a restaurant decides not to serve the governor, citing religious beliefs. Under the
    U.S. Constitution, you can make up any religion
    you want and the state cannot favor one over the
    another.


    Posted by: Bill | Jul 6, 2014 4:34:33 PM


  15. Leave it to Mississippi to remain the most repugnant state of the Union.

    Posted by: Jay | Jul 6, 2014 4:37:03 PM


  16. Oh dear.

    Posted by: Rowan | Jul 6, 2014 5:42:55 PM


  17. Why do we care what these hillbilly states do? All gay men and women and their families who support them will leave to go to a part of the country that isn't so third-world. As far as I'm concerned, let the rednecks live among each other.

    Posted by: apex | Jul 6, 2014 6:16:44 PM


  18. Mark,

    You clearly didn't understand my post. Reread it. You didn't answer my question at all, and are addressing a question I didnt raise ("allowing the state to discriminate against its residents"????)

    This link was v. helpful, so no need to reply. But, um, thanks?
    http://www.rethinkms.org/2014/03/06/sb-2681/

    Posted by: peter | Jul 6, 2014 6:59:15 PM


  19. @Apex: There are 747,802 reasons why we should care about what happens in Mississippi. That's the Census estimate of the number of people under 18 living in MS.

    Those kids, and especially those who are LGBT, deserve the chance to grow up with the same freedoms that all Americans have under the Constitution.

    I'm not willing to abandon those kids simply because they were born in Mississippi.

    Posted by: alex | Jul 6, 2014 6:59:29 PM


  20. Peter:
    The NYT in it a "liberal" law professor explains why a similar Federal law enabled the courts to allow Hobby Lobby to discriminate against women. Discrimination is not directly written into the law. But it opens a loophole for religious owners to discriminate against employees based on their "belief". e.g. Religious owners can cite religious belief and refuse to pay for insurance of the same sex spouses of their employees.
    http://www.nytimes.com/roomfordebate/2014/06/30/congress-religion-and-the-supreme-courts-hobby-lobby-decision/hobby-lobby-has-opened-a-minefield-of-extreme-religious-liberty

    Posted by: simon | Jul 6, 2014 10:50:35 PM


  21. What is it with people named BRYANT?

    Posted by: ChrisQ | Jul 7, 2014 7:55:56 AM


  22. when will GOD ever give up his so-called followers never do
    why waste space advertising for them

    Posted by: L G. | Jul 7, 2014 8:19:46 AM


  23. Someone should write/program a phone app that shows where all businesses are that discriminate against gay people in Mississippi.

    Or, better yet, make up about 20,000 stickers which say "We Discriminate" and stick them on the front windows of businesses that discriminate against us.

    Very easy and cheap to do.

    Posted by: johnny | Jul 7, 2014 8:41:13 AM


  24. I am not a Christian but there are topics where I agree with Christian groups. Where I agree with Christians is on the dangers of gay/lesbian agenda and there are many non-Christians and even some atheists who agree with Evangelical Christians. With homosexuality, if 2 knowing and willing adults want to do gay/lesbian conduct but not tell others what to think, then it’s their life. Homosexual/lesbian conduct is bad for health as smoking is and needs to be marginalized like smoking is.They must abolish sex change maimings. link between childhood sex abuse and adult homosexuality/lesbianism is old science and nothing new. It doesn’t take an expert to know that sex abuse in youth can mess up the mind and cause people to behave in ways they normally wouldn’t.

    With ‘homophobic’, homophobia is telling truths which offend homosexual groups. With what mental health experts say on homosexuality, Mainstream psychology/medicine is not to be trusted on gay/lesbian topic and too many people accept what is said w/o challenging or having doubts. You can pay experts to say things which agree with gay/lesbian agenda and that is has happened with psychology/medicine since 1973-experts can say things to support gay agenda or any agenda. Truth with homosexuality is any ideas, speculations and truths which offend homosexual groups is condemned as homophobia as there’s alot of ideology on this. With repair therapy for homosexuals/lesbians. Repair therapy for gays and lesbians who want to be straight must be available just as repair therapy must be available for a drug junky who wants to become clean. Yes, proof burden is on repair therapists, but if you aren’t going to have repair therapy for homsexuality/lesbianism, then you may as well not have repair therapy for drug junkyism or drunkardism, because it often fails.

    Finally, sex change maimings (transexuals are mutilated gays/lesbians) which is mutilating some1 to make them fake members of opposite sex is comparable to trying to make a man a fake animal because he thinks he is an animal trapped in a human body. Most feminists are not speaking against this. 1 would hope that feminists would oppose the mutilation that happened to Chastity Sun Bono as feminists have spoken against Female Genital Mutilation which happens in some nations. Transexuals are mutilations which no Dr. should take part in, yet most feminists are not condemning this female genital and breast mutilation as what happened to Chastity S. Bono where her healthy breasts were mutilated, dangerous hormone shots and her genitals mutilated. All transexuals are homosexual/lesbian as the act of mutilating to become false opposite sex is itself an act of homosexuality/lesbianism-sad maiming and make this illegal.

    Posted by: Anirban (aka Abner) Bhattacharya | Jul 7, 2014 8:50:35 AM


  25. 33% of gays report homosexual rape in youth. Many gays and lesbians who commit suicide do so because they often were childhood sex abuse victims and many have other copathologies such as antisocial conduct, drugs, etc. Whatever causes, it’s best for gays/lesbians to be celibate until a cure is found for homosexuality.

    Homofobia is telling truths, theories and speculations which offend homosexual groups. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/healthnews/10582504/Smoking-increases-chances-of-child-being-homosexual-in-adulthood.html Yes, the theory between a woman smoking during pregnancy and unborn baby doing homosexual/lesbian conduct in adulthood is not proven and replicated or repeat studies must be done. In 2011, I had suggested the link between a woman smoking during pregnancy and the increased risk of the baby turning out homosexual, Transexuals (mutilated homosexuals/lesbians) in adulthood, so this study is nothing new.

    Smoking during pregnancy is bad for health. Yes, there needs to be replicated or repeat studies but it wouldn’t surprise me. We know that childhood sex abuse raises risk of a kid doing homosexual/lesbian conduct in adulthood. But main reason homosexual groups are offended by this is theory is because it puts homosexuality negatively by suggesting it is the result of something bad-smoking.

    While they have not conclusively proven homosexuality/lesbianism is inborn genes, homosexual groups use this theory as definite by saying how they are born this way-which possibly can be the case for some but more studies are needed. But when facts are raised about the link between childhood sex abuse and a kid doing homosexual and lesbian activities in adutlhood, homosexual groups often get offended, condemn it as homofobia, sex change maimings which is mutilating some1 to make them fake members of opposite sex is comparable to trying to make a man a fake animal because he thinks he is an animal trapped in a human body. Any facts which show homosexuality/lesbianism to be bad and put negative views on this is condemned.

    Yes, religious pscyhologists and psychiatrists use faith. But there’s nothing wrong with them using Christianity or other faith. People use faith to justify their views against drunkardism (alcoholism). I am not a Christian but I agree with Christians is on the dangers of gay/lesbian agenda and there are many non-Christians and even some atheists who agree with Evangelical Christians.

    The pro-gay pschologists say rubbish such as when they say Jerry A. Sandusky is not gay which proves bias meddles with facts when you say a homosexual pedophile is not a homosexual. It depends on your definition, if 1 does not define a person who has same sex relations with a young boy as gay, then they call him straight or something else. Though it’s repeat it must be said again. A person is homosexual or lesbian if they knowingly and willing do same sex behaviors. If a person has homosexual activities with a young boy, then they are a homosexual pedofile. Jerry A. Sandusky is a homosexual pedofile-even if J.A. Sandusky calls himself straight, he would still be gay by behavior definition. But homosexual groups say that he is not gay when his conduct defines him as such.The priests who molest young boys are gay pedophiles. If a man has sex with little girls only, then he is a straight pedophile. Rush H. Limbaugh’s right when he said Jerry A. Sandusky is gay-and columnist Patrick J. Buchanan condemns who he calls gay priests. Those priests are again gay pedophiles, pederasts or homolesters. So there are many homosexual pedophiles such as the gay priests, Jerry A. Sandusky.

    Again, it’s sexual conduct or behavior which defines if 1 is straight or homosexual. Even if a person has had opposite sex relations, if they knowingly and willing do homosexual behavior, then they’re homosexuals and lesbians. Just because a person has in past had sex with women, if they have sex with young boys then they are homosexual pedofiles and most regard themselves as homosexual but even for those who call themselves straight their conduct doesn’t change the truth they are homosexual pedofiles. Since homosexuals and lesbians (transexuals) often suffered childhood sex abuse, it’s no surprise that homosexuals and lesbians think childhood sexual abuse is OK when it’s homosexual activities. All homosexual pedofiles are homosexuals. All transexuals are homosexual/lesbian as the act of mutilating to become false opposite sex is itself an act of homosexuality/lesbianism-sad maiming and make this illegal. homosexual groups got offended when columnist Patrick J. Buchanan condemned gay priests. What those priests did when they molest young boys is homosexuality. Yes, this is repeating but it must again be said that if a person has same sex conduct with young boys and girls then they are homosexual and lesbian pedofiles because again, it’s the same sex conduct which defines.

    Posted by: Anirban (aka Abner) Bhattacharya | Jul 7, 2014 8:55:57 AM


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