US Supreme Court Is Asked to Block Mississippi Law Allowing Sweeping Anti-LGBT Religion-Based Discrimination


One of America's Most Dangerous Anti-LGBT Laws

Two LGBT legal organizations on Tuesday are petitioning the U.S. Supreme Court to block a Mississippi state law that allows broad and sweeping discrimination against LGBT people by anyone, including businesses and individuals, who claims a strong religious or moral belief against them, the AP reports.

Lambda Legal and the Mississippi Center for Justice labeled the Mississippi 2016 law that went into effect on Tuesday, "a transparent attempt to undermine the equal dignity of LGBT citizens established in this court's decisions," and "an equally transparent attempt to endorse particular religious beliefs as state policy."

The law itself allows anyone to refuse service to, or refuse to do business with, anyone the believe is LGBT, anyone they believe has had pre-marital sex or has had sex with a person of the same sex, anyone who has had or supports the right to an abortion, and anyone who disagrees that a person's gender assigned at birth cannot be altered.

Republican Governor Phil Bryant signed HB 1523 into law. It has been held up in courts until now.

"The Mississippi law would allow clerks to cite religious objections to recuse themselves from issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples, and would protect merchants who refuse services to lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender people," the AP notes. "It could affect adoptions and foster care, business practices and school bathroom policies. Opponents say it could also allow pharmacies to refuse to fill birth control prescriptions for unmarried women."

One week ago the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals denied a request to block, or "stay" the law. 

HB 1523 was written by the Alliance Defending Freedom, according to the AP. The ADF appears on the Southern Poverty Law Center's list of anti-gay hate groups. The U.S Supreme Court in December will hear the case of a Colorado baker who refuses to bake wedding cakes for same-sex couples. The ADF is representing that baker, along with other bakers and florists who say serving same-sex couples violates their religious beliefs.

Buzzfeed's Dominic Holden posted a tweet linking to today's actual court document.

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Image by Ted Eytan via Flickr and a CC license

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