Like a thief in the night, the Mississippi legislature sneakily and quietly passed an Arizona-style anti-gay segregation bill, potentially legalizing anti-gay discrimination throughout the state. The bill, which in an earlier form received unanimous bipartisan support from the state House of Representatives, is almost certain to be signed by Republican Gov. Phil Bryant. That will make Mississippi the first state to write anti-gay animus into state law.
After the fallout and debacle of Arizona’s failed anti-gay bill, Mississippi legislators rewrote their state’s measure to seeminngly curb its anti-gay extremism by changing the verbage but by leaving the premise the same using much broarder language. These revisions struck out the bill’s most odious provision, a section that handed private businesses a blank check to refuse service to gay people. What remains at the heart of Mississippi’s reworked bill is a dense proscription against “state action” that “burden[s] a person’s right to exercise of religion, even if the burden results from a rule of general applicability,” unless it’s “essential to further a compelling government interest” and “the least restrictive means” of furthering that interest.
The Mississippi legislature’s did this to write a bill so broad that no court could argue its constitutionality by ext alone. Indeed, even the most liberal judges of the Ninth Circuit probably couldn’t find a basis to strike down the measure as it stands now. But some day, an ambitiously anti-gay Mississippian is bound to cite the law in court. And at that point, Mississippi is going to find itself with a Romer problem.
I would say lets boycott Mississippi but what the hell do they have worth boycotting?