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Mississippi Passes Bill Making Discrimination Legal For Religious Homophobes

mississippiMost state legislatures backed down on their “religious liberty” measures when they were introduced earlier this year (or in Arizona’s case, had the governor do it for them). Not Mississippi. The state that vies for the title of most backward in the nation has passed a measure that would allow individuals to discriminate against LGBT people if it comports with their religious beliefs.

The Mississippi bill is a watered-down version of the Arizona bill, but has largely the same effect. Any business owner can basically ignore nondiscrimination provisions if he or she feels that it violates religious principles. In perhaps the lamest fig leaf ever, the bill was stripped of language that civil rights groups objected to, giving supporters of the bill an excuse to claim that it wasn’t The Mississippi Homophobe Protection Act.

“It protects Christians in the state from discrimination,” Republican Rep. Andy Gipson, who’s a Baptist pastor, said.

Needless to say, professional homophobes are thrilled with the measure. “This is a victory for the First Amendment and the right to live and work according to one’s conscience,” Tony Perkins, president of the conservative Family Research Council, said. “This commonsense measure was a no-brainer for freedom.” Which is true, if by freedom you mean the right to ignore laws you find inconvenient.

Gov. Phil Bryant has promised to sign the bill. The fact that Bryant is rumored to have at least one close family member who is gay seems not to be a deterrent to his rush to prove his antigay creds.

As for the impact on Mississippi’s reputation, Democratic Sen. David Blount, an outspoken opponent of the bill, said it best: “We don’t have a lot of good will out there in the country to fall back on when it comes to a record against discrimination.”

By:           John Gallagher
On:           Apr 2, 2014
Tagged: , , , , , , ,

  • 19 Comments
    • Bjk
      Bjk

      How is this not a direct violation of the interstate commerce clause, the federal law used to prevent businesses from discriminating against black people.

      Apr 2, 2014 at 3:41 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Daniel-Reader
      Daniel-Reader

      Response is simple. Don’t help out the criminal justice system in Mississippi any more. If merchants want citizens to come forward to help with crime, tell them to f’ off. If merchants want people to be kind to tourist, tell them to f’ off and make the environment uncomfortable for tourists. Don’t do anything to support merchants in the state. Discourage businesses from locating there and recommend to existing ones that they relocate to better states. When you see a politician who voted for this legislation, boo them and yell fascist at them on the street. You don’t have to be polite to any politician who discriminates. The bible says working on the Sabbath is absolutely forbidden so condemn business owners who supported this legislation but who work on Saturdays and Sundays. And if you are a Pagan, Satanist, atheist, etc. from any part of the country then sue the various Mississippi levels of government (state, municipal) under this new law for not protecting your religion equally. Drown the state in litigation and make money off the state.

      Apr 2, 2014 at 5:24 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • RayJacksonMs
      RayJacksonMs

      It’s his son Patrick. He keep him hidden. They shipped him out of state to live in Austin Texas last week. The republicans had this all planned out and knew the they were going to pass the law so they gave Bryant time to hide the family queen.

      Apr 2, 2014 at 6:26 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • RayJacksonMs
      RayJacksonMs

      keep should say keeps. They really should add an edit option on here.

      Apr 2, 2014 at 6:28 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • GymJockTX
      GymJockTX

      Ahhh, dang-it all anyway–I was just fixin to check air fares to Podunk, Mississippi for my early Summer vacation! NOW where will I go to spend my gay dollars?

      Apr 2, 2014 at 6:35 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • AzLights
      AzLights

      Just more disgusting garbage from the Republicants. I’m Pagan so how come my religion isn’t getting the right to discriminate? [OFF/sarcasm]. People need to start suing the crap out of the state for this kind of BS.

      Apr 2, 2014 at 6:55 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • DickieJohnson
      DickieJohnson

      No doubt the legislators are feeling all smug and “we’ll show you Liberals!” MS was among the first States to ban same-sex marriage, so this kind of bigotry is going to go down hard. Just remember, in MS there are about equal populations of religious fundamentalists, Black and White. As in other areas of ignorance, homophobia is a “christian value”.

      Apr 2, 2014 at 9:11 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • sangsue
      sangsue

      Let’s see what they do when Muslims want to build a mosque. Or Satanists build their places of worship. Or Jews want synogogues. Then that’s when they’ll admit that religious freedom is code for religious dominance.

      Apr 2, 2014 at 10:24 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Mezaien
      Mezaien

      Guys do not get exited like a tourist as we say “you sleep with dogs you wake up with fleas” wait and see what will happen to Mississippi! after all they are all Christian. :-(~

      Apr 3, 2014 at 12:09 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • coltonblack
      coltonblack

      Why am I not shocked?

      Apr 3, 2014 at 12:22 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Harley
      Harley

      It is good to be a lawyer these days. I guess ol’ Mississippi has a lot of money in the coffers to pay for all the litigation this is going to produce.

      Apr 3, 2014 at 5:56 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • SpaceInvader
      SpaceInvader

      Along with Florida & Georgia,Mississippi is on my list of DO NOT EVER go through /visit/or support ANYTHING state. This another ass backwards , shit hole ,pathetic excuse for a state. Of course since it’s in the South ,it lives up to its reputation as completely bat shit crazy. And as evidenced by this POS legislation,Mississippi is home to some of the dumbest,stupidest,heinous ,meanest, disgusting people in the country.Actually the world. And the homophobes can continue inbreeding and popping out Neanderthal babies. These people are NOT Christians. Never have never will be.

      Apr 3, 2014 at 1:22 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • AxelDC
      AxelDC

      You can’t boycott a state no one wants in the first place.

      Apr 3, 2014 at 3:25 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • AxelDC
      AxelDC

      @Spaceinvader: Georgia is about to flip blue. Jason Carter has a 4 point lead in the Governor’s race and Democrats have a good shot at taking out Saxby Chambliss this fall. Georgia could easily go with Clinton in 2016, which along with North Carolina and Virginia would make it impossible for Republicans to get over 200 EVs.

      Don’t write off Georgia. It’s about to become a lot friendlier, and Savannah is a beautiful, gay friendly town.

      Apr 3, 2014 at 3:28 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Billy Budd
      Billy Budd

      Here in Brazil we do not have this discrepancy among states regarding gay rights and legislation. The supreme court has ruled in our favor many times and it is legal to make civil unions. Not marriage.

      Apr 3, 2014 at 5:41 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • jazz4108
      jazz4108

      I believe in religious freedom and the constitution allready protects it. This law and many others like it are just a personal attack on our community for the advancements we have made under the democratic led country. We better hope the dems stay in partial control because there alot more bigots in office other than Mississippi. This state just does not care who they step on and have not since it was aquired. Its been a anti racial state that still has black and white bathrooms at rest stops when I went through there about 6 years ago so nothing surprises me about the hate and intolerance for anything other than there backwards hatred that the hide behind and have the nerve to call them followers of God or christians. They go against exactly what the bible preaches against. They should be showing acceptance and love.

      Apr 4, 2014 at 12:34 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Billy Budd
      Billy Budd

      @jazz4108: Dear Jazz, please notice that the first part of the bible is filled with hatred, intolerance, vengeance, aggression, prejudice, wars, punishments from God, orders to assassinate people coming from God, humiliation and misogyny towards women, adoration of dead animals (the smell when they burn pleases God), etc etc etc etc.

      The bible can be a source of a lot of hatred and prejudice and bloodbaths.

      Apr 4, 2014 at 2:01 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Billy Budd
      Billy Budd

      The second part of the bible is a little bit better, even though its silly pacifism is much inferior to Ghandi´s, for example. Turn the other cheek. Being poor leads you to heaven. and many other nonsensical stuff.

      Apr 4, 2014 at 2:03 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • gaym50ish
      gaym50ish

      The law in Mississippi amounts to legalized discrimination, and I doubt that it will survive a court test. The obvious question a judge might ask is, doesn’t an exemption for religious beliefs nullify every nondiscrimination law enacted in the past 50 years? Anyone could claim a deeply held belief in the separation of the races, or claim that he couldn’t in good conscience serve Muslims or Jews.

      It wasn’t really that long ago that hotels owned by Christians would not rent rooms to Jewish people. And you may have seen an episode of “The Golden Girls” that dealt with the common practice of country clubs excluding Jews.

      Do the people of any state really want to go back to that, in the name of “religious freedom”?

      Apr 8, 2014 at 6:42 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

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