Christian bigotry: Mississippi passes anti-gay “religious freedom” bill legalizing discrimination against the LGBT community.
The Advocate reports lawmakers in both chambers of Mississippi’s legislature approved the Mississippi Religious Freedom Restoration Act on Tuesday. The legislation would allow businesses and individuals to deny services to anyone, if serving that person or organization would “substantially burden” the individual’s “religious exercise.”
The American Civil Liberties union compared the Mississippi legislation to Arizona’s recently vetoed SB 1062, which would have allowed businesses and individuals to refuse service to anyone who contradicted a citizen’s deeply-held religious belief.
The legislation is expressly designed to make it possible for Christian extremists to demean and disadvantage members of the LGBT population under the guise of religious freedom. The legislation is but one example of the anti-gay hatred and bigotry so often expressed by conservative Christians.
The Family Research Council’s Tony Perkins, head of the Family Research Council, an anti-gay Christian hate group, praised Mississippi for advancing this bill.
The legislation is now before Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant. He has until April 4th to sign the legislation into law. Bryant has not yet indicated whether he intends to sign the bill.
Many legal observers expect that if signed into law, the anti-gay “religious liberty” bill legalizing discrimination against the LGBT community will be struck down by the courts.
Ultimately the legislation will be an expensive exercise in futility, an empty gesture that serves only to demonstrate the irrational and ugly anti-gay bigotry of Christian conservatives in Mississippi.