Mississippi's Religious Accommodations Law delayed until October - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Mississippi's Religious Accommodations Law delayed until October 10

Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

There's yet another delay for the state's controversial Religious Accommodations Law. It's been caught up in the courts for longer than it took the Mississippi Legislature to pass it and get it signed by the Governor.

After several steps in court, the religious accommodations law was set to take effect this Friday. But because a motion to temporarily stop it was denied by the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals Tuesday, it will now take effect next Tuesday, October 10th.

PREVIOUS STORY: Religious Accommodations Act gains national attention

PREVIOUS STORY: Court says Mississippi can enforce LGBT religious accommodations law?

"This has been looming over us for I guess a year and a half now," explained Human Rights Campaign Mississippi State Director Rob Hill. "We have no statewide protections as it relates to housing, public accommodations, and employment. So HB 1523 makes the LGBT people in Mississippi people in Mississippi feel even more vulnerable."

As a reminder, HB 1523 was designed to protect three specific religious beliefs: that marriage is between a man and woman; no sex outside of such marriage; and a person's gender is determined at birth. The editor of The Baptist Record thinks it's needed.

"There could not be a more honest, straightforward and constitutional protection for the religious people of Mississippi," noted editor William Perkins. "Opponents may see it as oppressing them. Without this law, we see it oppressing us."

Meanwhile, Plaintiff Brandiilyne Mangum-Dear says those among the LGBT community are increasingly anxious. Still, she says she and her wife are prepared to document any instances of discrimination.

"We walk in very defensively," she said. "And that's unfortunate. This is the hospitality state. We should not have to be afraid to walk into an establishment and be turned away or discriminated against or humiliated. It's a sad day."

The plaintiff's attorneys plan to appeal to the U-S Supreme Court.

When the bill was originally being debated by the legislature, Representative Andy Gipson shared a Facebook post with the following list of the bill's supporters. 

Who supports HB 1523?

  • According to a Mason-Dixon Research Poll, nearly two-thirds of MS voters support this bill: a majority from every age group, both parties, races, sexes.
  • More than 270 pastors have signed a letter of support on the bill. Other pastors/churches submitted separate letters.
  • Rev. Franklin Graham has endorsed the bill.
  • The Southern Baptist Convention's Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission has endorsed the bill.
  • Rep. Steven Palazzo has endorsed the bill directly and is a sponsor, along with Rep. Harper, Rep. Kelly, Senator Cochran and Senator Wicker, of the federal version. (Note: The federal version applies only to federal practices and not to Mississippi. Hence, the need for HB 1523.)
  • Bethany Christian Services submitted a letter on the bill’s behalf.
  • New Beginnings Adoptions submitted a letter on the bill’s behalf.
  • The two Catholic dioceses/bishops of Mississippi submitted a letter on the bill’s behalf. They also represent Mississippi’s Catholic schools and Catholic Charities.
  • Home of Grace Addiction Recovery submitted a letter on the bill’s behalf.
  • American Family Association submitted a letter on the bill’s behalf.
  • The National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference submitted a letter on the bill’s behalf.
  • The United Pentecostal Church, Mississippi District submitted a letter on the bill’s behalf.
  • The American Association of Christian Schools submitted a letter on the bill’s behalf.
  • The Miss. Center for Public Policy has provided favorable analysis, supporting the bill.
  • Redemption Outreach Ministries International wrote an op-ed supporting the bill.
  • Alliance Defending Freedom has endorsed the bill from a legal perspective and affirmed its constitutionality.
  • The Family Research Council has endorsed the bill.
  • The Heritage Foundation has written favorably about the bill.

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