JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Protesters say a bill in Mississippi would sanction discrimination by letting public employees cite their own religious beliefs to refuse to issue marriage licenses or perform weddings for same-sex couples.
Mississippi is one of about 10 states where such bills were filed in response to the U.S. Supreme ruling last summer legalizing same-sex marriage nationwide.
The Mississippi Senate has a Wednesday deadline to consider House Bill 1523. A few dozen people protested the bill Tuesday at the Capitol.
The bill says public employees, business people and those involved with foster care or adoptions could not be punished for acting on beliefs that marriage should only be between a man and a woman; that "sexual relations are properly reserved to such a marriage"; and that gender is determined at birth.