Mississippi Passes 'Religious Freedom' Law


Mississippi has passed a controversial ‘religious freedom’ law which allows businesses to refuse service to same-sex couples.


The legislation signed by Governor Phil Bryant will allow individuals, institutions and businesses to deny service to people if doing so would violate their religious beliefs on marriage and gender, reports The New York Times.

Bryant said that the bill was intended to protect religious freedoms, denying that it was discriminatory. “This bill does not limit any constitutionally protected rights or actions of any citizen of this state under federal or state laws,” he said.

Nissan, Toyota and MGM Resorts International – all major employers in Mississippi – have raised concerns about the law and the recent introduction of anti-gay legislation has already begun to have financial ramifications for some other states.

LGBT advocates protest the ‘religious freedom’ bill

PayPal announced plans to cancel a planned $3.6 million operations centre in North Carolina after the passing of a law banning anti-discrimination protections based on sexual orientation. The law also requires transgender people in government buildings and public schools to use toilets that match the gender on their birth certificates.

A similar ‘religious conscience’ bill proposed in Georgia was later vetoed by the state’s governor after Disney, Viacom and others threatened to abandon lucrative operations in the state if the bill passed.

Last week a Mississippi judge struck down a ban on same-sex couples adopting children in the state, making same-sex adoption legal across the entire US. District Judge Daniel Jordan issued a preliminary injunction against the ban inn March 31, ruling it unconstitutional in the wake of recent US Supreme Court decisions legalising gay marriage.

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