The spectacle of Arizona has given the lawmakers in the Mississippi House cold feet.
After witnessing the national disgust as Arizona tried to pass its own “Religious Restoration” bill, legislators in Mississippi have had second thoughts about passing a very similar measure.
The Mississippi Senate unanimously passed SB 2681 which, like Arizona’s controversial SB1062, would have given a free pass to individuals and businesses who refused service due to their “firmly held” religious beliefs. The bill also added the words ” In God We Trust” to the state seal.
The Mississippi House of Representatives Civil Subcommittee voted yesterday to strike the provisions of SB2681 that the ACLU warned would invite discrimination against gay, lesbian and trans-gender people. The Civil Subcommittee the voted to mold the bill after the federal government’s 1993 Religious Freedom Restoration Act. An amendment now limits the bill to addressing actions by government — not individuals or businesses.
The bill, in its new ACLU approved form, now moves on to the House Judiciary Committee.
Mississippi is now the ninth state to fail to pass a “turn away the gays” bill, in the guise of “religious liberty.” In addition to the veto in Arizona, bills were defeated in Ohio, Indiana, and Georgia, Kansas, Maine, South Dakota, Tennessee, and Idaho.
Missouri is the last holdout with a bill still pending.
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