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Bill Quick

Mississippi religious freedom law could bar gay people from businesses | World news |

Gay people could be turned away by hotels, restaurants and pharmacies across Mississippi thanks to an expansive new religious freedom law approved by the state legislature, civil liberties campaigners have warned.

Under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which was abruptly taken up and passed by state legislators on Tuesday, Mississippi authorities are banned from placing a “burden” – such as the threat of legal action – on “a person’s right to the exercise of religion”.

The law, which is awaiting the signature of Republican governor Phil Bryant, was hailed as a triumph by socially conservative groups such as the Family Research Council, which opposes efforts to ensure that “homosexuality be accepted as equivalent to heterosexuality in law”.

“This is a victory for the first amendment and the right to live and work according to one’s conscience,” Tony Perkins, the group’s president, said in a statement. “This common-sense measure was a no-brainer for freedom.”

However, campaigners for gay rights and other civil liberties warned that the measure was little more than a carefully worded version of a law vetoed in Arizona earlier this year by governor Jan Brewer, which more explicitly gave businesses the right to decline gay customers.

A Jim Crow state updates Jim Crow for the 21st century.

Posted in Bigots permalink
Bill Quick

About Bill Quick

I am a small-l libertarian. My primary concern is to increase individual liberty as much as possible in the face of statist efforts to restrict it from both the right and the left. If I had to sum up my beliefs as concisely as possible, I would say, "Stay out of my wallet and my bedroom," "your liberty stops at my nose," and "don't tread on me." I will believe that things are taking a turn for the better in America when married gays are able to, and do, maintain large arsenals of automatic weapons, and tax collectors are, and do, not.

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