3/1/14

Mississippi's 'Right to Discriminate' Act


The Mississippi House has not yet voted on SB 2681, the thoroughly unnecessary "Mississippi Religious Freedom Restoration Act" already passed by the Senate. The bill was supposed to come up for a vote on February 27 but instead went to committee for modification. According to Deep South Progressive, the controversial "right to discriminate" language remains in the amended version of the bill.
Those key parts of the bill, which LGBT activists feared would legitimize discrimination by businesses that claim “sincerely held religious belief” as the motivating factor, remain unchanged.
That is, the part of the legislation that most enraged supporters of equality remains in tact. This means that continued action is necessary.

Take Action!

If you do not want to see Mississippi allow religiously-based discrimination against LGBT persons, now is the time to do something about this legislation before it is passed by the House and signed by Gov. Phil Bryant. The Humans Right Campaign is making it easy for you to help out, regardless of where you live.
  • For Mississippi residents who want to take action
  • For persons outside of Mississippi who want to take action
The amended legislation is expected to come up for a vote in the next few days, so act now.

What About the State Promotion of Religion?

In addition to permitting religiously-based discrimination, SB 2681 has church-state implications in that it will add "In God We Trust" to Mississippi's state seal. It does not seem to matter to our legislators that there are plenty of Mississippians who do not believe in any sort of gods. I suppose we aren't wanted here.

I must admit that I am puzzled about why we have not heard more about this from secular organizations like the Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF). The rationale being offered for why it is necessary to add references to god seems like the sort of thing that would interest such organizations. And yet, I have been unable to find any mention of this bill on the FFRF's website.

I think it is important that our elected officials hear from us about this too.

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