Appeals Court Allows Worst Anti-LGBTQ Law Ever To Run Into Effect In Mississippi

Appeals Court Allows Worst Anti-LGBTQ Law Ever To Run Into Effect In Mississippi

A three-judge panel of the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals this week lifted a lower tribunal injunction that had stopped the implementation of what many legal observers and LGBTQ activists view as the worst, most dangerous legislative attack on LGBTQ people yet.

Mississippi’s HB 1523, the” Protecting Freedom of Conscience from Government Discrimination Act ,” signed into statute by Gov. Phil Bryantin April of 2016 but put on hold by a federal judge, allows for the most far-reaching religion exemptions of any bill we’ve seen in the states. And it could eventually be the first big exam of the Supreme Court’s newest justice, Neil Gorsuch, who has been a staunch defender of” religion liberty “~ ATAGEND and, by his own description, is in the mold of the late Justice Antonin Scalia, yet “whos had” homosexual friends who claim he’s been misconstrue.

The law allowsfor businesses and government employees to decline service to LGBT people, and that including bakers, florists, county clerks and even someone working at the department of motor vehicles. It allows for discrimination in housing and employment to same-sex couples or any individual within a same-sex couple. Businesses and government, under the law, can govern where transgender people go to the bathroom. The statute lets mental health professionals and doctors, nurses and clinics to turn away LGBT people. It also allows state-funded adoption agencies to turn away LGBT couples.

The law could have a wide impact beyond LGBTQ people as well, allowing for broad discrimination against many people. According to Americans United for the Separation of Church and State, under the law:

a government clerk could refuse to issue a wedding license to a couple because one person had was already divorced; a taxpayer-funded adoption bureau could refuse to place a child with a happy and loving household because the mothers lived together before they were married; a taxpayer-funded organization that offer shelter to kids who have suffered child abuse could turn away a pregnant adolescent; a counseling group practice could refuse to see a mom and her teen who is experiencing severe depression because the woman is unmarried; a counselor could refuse to help an LGBT person who called a suicide hotline; a fertility clinic could refuse to treat a veteran and his partner because they are not married; a car rental bureau could refuse to rent a car to a same-sex couple on their honeymoon; and “owners corporations” could fire a woman for wearing pants.

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