Thursday, Jul 24, 2014
 
search SGN
SERVING SEATTLE AND THE PACIFIC NORTHWEST FOR 40 YEARS!

click to visit advertiser's website


Javascript DHTML Drop Down Menu Powered by dhtml-menu-builder.com

Last Weeks Edition
   
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website




 

 
 

 

 

[Valid RSS]

click to go to advertisers website
to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, April 4 2014 - Volume 42 Issue 14
Mississippi loves religion, hates Gays
Section One
ALL STORIES
  next story
Mississippi loves religion, hates Gays

by Mike Andrew - SGN Staff Writer

Mississippi's legislature has passed a so-called 'Mississippi Religious Freedom Restoration Act' - a measure that would allow individuals and businesses to refuse service to LGBT customers.

With less than 72 hours left in their session, both houses of the state legislature rushed to pass the measure on April 2. The House first passed the bill on a 79-43 vote, and later, Senators approved the bill on a voice vote.

Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant is expected to sign the bill into law. If and when he does, the law will take effect July 1.

The measure is said to duplicate provisions of the 1993 federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act and other bills passed in 18 states, except for language that offers additional protections to employees of businesses. It is reportedly more narrowly drawn than the 'religious freedom' bill vetoed by Arizona Governor Jan Brewer in February.

Supporters say the bill will protect state citizens' free exercise of religion from government intrusion. Opponents said the measure legalizes discrimination, especially against LGBT Mississippians.

During the Senate debate, Senator Derrick Simmons, a Democrat who has been outspoken in his opposition to the legislation, urged his colleagues to vote no, saying, 'I urge you not to legalize discrimination in the State of Mississippi.'

'I believe certainly by the way that this bill is drafted that it will allow discrimination in Mississippi,' Simmons said. 'There is nothing in the proposed legislation that prohibits that.'

While lawmakers denied that the LGBT community was the intended target of the bill, supporters outside the legislature made it very clear that they were.

'This is a victory for the First Amendment and the right to live and work according to one's conscience,' Tony Perkins, President of the anti-Gay Family Research Council, said in a statement.

'I commend Mississippi legislators for reading the bill and consulting the facts and not yielding to the wild distortions of the frenzied opposition of anti-religious liberty activists who caused other elected officials to retreat in recent weeks. Whether it's someone like Pastor Telsa DeBerry who was hindered by the Holly Springs city government from building a new church in the downtown area, or a wedding vendor, whose orthodox Christian faith will not allow her to affirm same-sex 'marriage,' the provisions of RFRA would apply to prevent the government from discriminating against religious exercise.'

Human rights organizations condemned the measure.

'The law could allow individuals and businesses to bring challenges against what they view as substantial government burdens against religion, including challenging existing nondiscrimination laws,' the ACLU said in a statement.

'Even though the Mississippi legislature removed some of the egregious language from Arizona's infamous SB 1062, we are disappointed that it passed this unnecessary law and ignored the national, public outcry against laws of this nature,' said Eunice Rho, advocacy and policy counsel with the ACLU. 'We will continue to fight in state legislatures across the country to ensure that religious freedom remains a shield, not a sword.'

'While there were many efforts to correct the clearly problematic elements of this legislation, the bill still has the effect of making LGBT people strangers to the law,' HRC State Legislative Director Sarah Warbelow said.

'Before Mississippi has had the opportunity to robustly discuss the lived experiences of LGBT people, this bill would hollow out any non-discrimination protections at the local level or possible future state-wide protections. Just as we've seen in other states, this bill is bad for business, bad for the state's reputation, and most of all, bad for Mississippians. Governor Bryant must veto the measure.'

Legislatures in Georgia, Idaho, Maine, and Ohio, have rejected similar measures. Bills are still pending in Missouri and Oklahoma.

The federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993 was originally intended to protect sacred Native American lands from encroachments by federal construction projects.

Tell a friend:

Share on Facebook  Share on Facebook

Post to MySpace!Share on MySpace!

    Share on Delicious

Share on StumbleUpon!

Boy Scouts dismiss openly Gay Seattle scoutmaster Geoffrey McGrath
------------------------------
Mississippi loves religion, hates Gays
------------------------------
Jacquelline Fuller, Google executive resigns from World Vision board over Gay marriage decision
------------------------------
Jesse's Journal: Politics of the mind and the heart
------------------------------
Emerald City Softball Association season begins
------------------------------
City of Seattle to consider sexual orientation/gender identity when addressing pay inequity
------------------------------
Supporters of ousted openly Gay troop leader speak out at Seattle rally
------------------------------
Support DADT repeal or get out, Obama told Joint Chiefs
------------------------------
Oregon will drop ballot initiative if court strikes marriage ban
------------------------------
Pro-Gay mayors elected in Turkey
------------------------------
LA meningitis outbreak - Health officials urge vaccination
------------------------------
Kiki with D
------------------------------
NGI men thrive in sexual marketplace
------------------------------
New York appeals court upholds employment discrimination judgment
------------------------------
Mayor announces City funds for Capitol Hill, other neighborhoods
------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------
BREAKING NEWS
------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

click to visit advertiser's website

click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
Seattle Gay Blog post your own information on
the Seattle Gay Blog
 

gay news feeds gay news readers gay rss gay
http://sgn.org/rss.xml | what is RSS? | Add to Google use Google to set up your RSS feed
SGN Calendar For Mobile Phones http://sgn.org/rssCalendarMobile.xml
SGN Calendar http://sgn.org/rssCalendar.xml

Seattle Gay News - SGN
1605 12 Ave., Ste. 31
Seattle, WA 98122

Phone 206-324-4297
Fax 206-322-7188

email: sgn2@sgn.org
website suggestions: web@sgn.org

copyright Seattle Gay News - DigitalTeamWorks 2013

USA Gay News American News American Gay News USA American Gay News United States American Lesbian News USA American Lesbian News United States USA News
Pacific Northwest News in Seattle News in Washington State News