A new law in Mississippi is allowing businesses to refuse service to queer couples, and dispute of this law could make it all the way up to the Supreme Court.
According to New Now Next, HB 1523 in Mississippi is considered by many to be the most anti-LGBTQ legislation in the U.S. right now. Known as the Protecting Freedom of Conscience from Government Discrimination Act, this law allows doctors, lawyers, teachers, and others to refuse service if someone’s beliefs about gender or marriage violate their religious ideas.
While the bill was put on hold by challengers several times in its home state, it is back on track to become law, and new disputers might take the fight all the way to the Supreme Court.
Susan Sommer of Lambda Legal, the organization that wants to take the bill to court, told New Now Next that HB 1523 “creates a toxic environment of fear and prejudice, along with other anti-LGBT laws across the country like those in North Carolina and Texas.”
“These laws are a pack of wolves in sheep’s clothing, dressing up discrimination and calling it religious freedom,” she added.
“All HB 1523 has done is tarnish Mississippi’s image while distracting us from the more pressing issues of decaying roads and bridges, underfunding of public education, the plight of the mentally ill and the need to solve our state’s financial mess,” agreed Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood, as quoted by New Now Next. “I don’t believe that’s the way to carry out Jesus’ primary directives to protect the least among us and to love thy neighbor.”
If this case makes it to the Supreme Court, queer marriage rights will once again be in the hot seat, but this time, we will be fighting for the right to live free from discrimination.