Mississippi’s Anti-LGBT “Religious Liberty Accommodations Act” Advances in the Senate

Mississippi advances anti-gay law

Following a vote today by the Mississippi Senate Judiciary H.B 1523 the discriminatory anti-LGBT “Religious Liberty Accommodations Act” bill was sent to the Senate floor where it now awaits a chamber vote.

If passed, H.B. 1523 would allow individuals, religious organizations and private associations to use religion to discriminate against LGBT Mississippians, in some of the most important aspect of their lives, including at work, at school, in their family life.

Under H.B. 1523, “religion” could be used by any individual or organization to justify discrimination against LGBT people. Faith-based organizations could refuse to recognize the marriages of same-sex couples; deny children in need of loving homes placement with LGBT families; and refuse to sell or rent a for-profit home to an LGBT person — even if the organization receives government funding. As introduced, H.B. 1523 would also give foster families the freedom to expose an LGBT child to the dangerous, abusive practice of “conversion therapy” without fear of government intervention or license suspension. It would even allow individuals to refuse to carry out the terms of a state contract for the provision of counseling services based on the counselor’s beliefs about LGBT people . H.B. 1523 will also allow Kim Davis-like discrimination by allowing government employees to abdicate their duties and refuse to license or solemnize marriages for LGBT people.

Unfortunately, Mississippi has no major Fortune 500 or major companies headquartered in the state to speak out against the bill.

Figures.

Will Kohler

Will Kohler is a noted LGBT historian, writer, blogger and owner of Back2Stonewall.com. A longtime gay activist, Will fought on the front lines of the AIDS epidemic with ACT-UP and continues fighting today for LGBT acceptance and full equality. Will’s work has been referenced in notable media venues as MSNBC and BBC News, The Washington Post, The Advocate, The Daily Beast, Hollywood Reporter, Raw Story, and The Huffington Post

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