Whoa. On the same day that PayPal pulled its expansion plans out of North Carolina in reaction to the anti-LGBT legislation known as HB2, our friends (cough) in Mississippi have gone and passed a strangely (not at all) similar bill that was just signed by Republican Gov. Phil Bryant. According to thinkprogress.org, HB1523 may not carry the same weight as HB2 in North Carolina – absolutely nobody goes to Mississippi while gay; just try hitting up a gas station there – the notion that even “living in sin” via “sex before marriage” is a punishable offense is incredibly jarring. Though, bless their hearts, Mississippi leadership is naturally calling this a protection measure for religious people who would rather gay people be dead. This is disgusting. This is wrong. Everyone knows it.
“This bill does not limit any constitutionally protected rights or actions of any citizen of this state under federal or state laws,” Bryant claimed in a statement obtained by thinkprogress.com. “The legislation is designed in the most targeted manner possible to prevent government interference in the lives of the people from which all power to the state is derived.”
But this is our new battleground, and so we will fight. Also, maybe let your ally friends know that it’s not just your alleged “immoral” behavior at risk. This will indeed affect business, schooling, suicide and feelings. It’s also an amazing waste of tax dollars. This closet renovation has grown really expensive.
The Southern Poverty Law Center had this to add in a statement:
SPLC: Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant’s Signage of HB 1523 Unconscionable; Same Rationale Used to Justify Slavery, Jim Crow
MONTGOMERY, Ala. – The following statement regarding the passage of Mississippi bill HB 1523, the “Protecting Freedom of Conscience from Government Discrimination Act,” into law by Gov. Phil Bryant is by Jody E. Owens, managing attorney in Mississippi at the Southern Poverty Law Center:
“Gov. Phil Bryant’s decision to sign HB 1523 into law is unconscionable. This newly enacted law – like the draconian anti-LGBT laws in other states – uses the guise of ‘religious freedom’ to justify discrimination, mistreatment and bigotry. It’s the same sort of rationale used by white supremacists in earlier eras to justify slavery and Jim Crow. The estimated 60,000 LGBT people in Mississippi deserve better. We need to stand up for the rights of all people.”