"ACLU: Miss. Passes Law That Could Open Door to Discrimination " by Jackblog | Jackson Free Press | Jackson, MS

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ACLU: Miss. Passes Law That Could Open Door to Discrimination

The ACLU of Mississippi released the following statement on the passage of Senate Bill 2681, adopted this afternoon by both houses of the Legislature and is heading to the desk of Gov. Phil Bryant for approval:

JACKSON, Miss – The Mississippi legislature passed a controversial law today that could open the door to discrimination against any group based on religious objections. If Governor Phil Bryant signs, the law will go into effect on July 1, 2014.

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

The law could allow individuals and businesses to bring challenges against what they view as substantial government burdens against religion, including challenging existing nondiscrimination laws. Legislatures across the country, including in Georgia, Idaho, Maine, and Ohio, have rejected similar measures. On February 26, 2014, Governor Jan Brewer vetoed Arizona’s version. Bills are still pending in Missouri and Oklahoma.

“Even though the Mississippi legislature removed some of the egregious language from Arizona’s infamous SB 1062, we are disappointed that it passed this unnecessary law and ignored the national, public outcry against laws of this nature,” said Eunice Rho, advocacy and policy counsel with the ACLU. “We will continue to fight in state legislatures across the country to ensure that religious freedom remains a shield, not a sword.”

Comments

donnaladd 3 years, 7 months ago

Here is the Human Rights Campaign response, verbatim:

Mississippi’s So-Called “Religious Freedom” Bill Passes State Legislature

HRC calls on Gov. Bryant to veto the measure

WASHINGTON – After differing versions of Mississippi’s so-called "Religious Freedom Restoration Act" passed the House and Senate, yesterday a conference committee reported out a final bill that fails to prohibit discriminate against customers based on business owners personal religious beliefs. Tonight the final bill passed both houses of the Mississippi legislature and now heads to the desk of Governor Phil Bryant.

While efforts had previously been made to allay concerns about the scope and breadth of the legislation, the version passed tonight is far-reaching and should be vetoed by the governor. Human Rights Campaign (HRC) State Legislative Director Sarah Warbelow issued the following statement:

“While there were many efforts to correct the clearly problematic elements of this legislation, the bill still has the effect of making LGBT people strangers to the law. Before Mississippi has had the opportunity to robustly discuss the lived experiences of LGBT people, this bill would hollow out any non-discrimination protections at the local level or possible future state-wide protections. Just as we’ve seen in other states, this bill is bad for business, bad for the state’s reputation, and most of all, bad for Mississippians. Governor Bryant must veto the measure.”

It is possible that the law could:

Undermine future state and local non-discrimination laws protecting LGBT individuals. Interfere with licensing organizations that have professional regulations protecting LGBT individuals. Undermine public university non-discrimination policies that include classes of people who lack federal protections Allow pharmacists to refuse to provide HIV and hormone replacement therapy drugs. Permit restaurants, inns/hotels to potentially turn away same-sex couples celebrating an anniversary, adoption or pregnancy. Permit wedding garment shops, bakeries, photo studios, and reception halls to close their doors to same-sex couples planning their weddings. The Human Rights Campaign is America’s largest civil rights organization working to achieve lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality. By inspiring and engaging all Americans, HRC strives to end discrimination against LGBT citizens and realize a nation that achieves fundamental fairness and equality for all.

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justjess 3 years, 7 months ago

There is an old saying that goes: "Be careful for what you ask for; you just might get it."

Some of the authors of this law might have a son, daughter, mother, father, ect that could fit into individuals who will not be protected by MS law. It could also be a close love one in need of TX for HIV or hormone replacement therapy drugs.

Think about it; or it just could be you.

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