Friday, July 1, 2016

MIssissippi: Federal Judge Strikes Down Anti-LGBT Legislation HB1523

Judge Carlton Reeves

From the Human Rights Campaign:

Last night, minutes before it was set to go into effect, U.S. District Judge Carlton Reeves blocked the implementation of Mississippi’s discriminatory and harmful H.B. 1523, calling it “a vehicle for state sanctioned discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.”

The bill would stop state and local government agencies from taking action against state employees, individuals, organizations and private associations that deny service based on "religious beliefs."

In other words, all bigots would have to say is "I'm a Christian - I don't have to serve gays," and they get a free card to legally discriminate.

The case was successfully argued by Roberta Kaplan, the civil rights lawyer who argued in front of the Supreme Court of the United States in the landmark case United States v. Windsor.

This ruling effectively blocks the implementation of the unconstitutional law, as LGBT advocates push for full repeal.

From Mississippi Today:

In a blistering opinion that reached into Mississippi's segregationist past, U.S. District Court Judge Carlton Reeves said House Bill 1523, signed by Gov. Phil Bryant in April, was another unfortunate example of Mississippi trying to write discrimination into its laws.

"Religious freedom was one of the building blocks of this great nation, and after the nation was torn apart, the guarantee of equal protection under law was used to stitch it back together. But HB 1523 does not honor that tradition of religion freedom, nor does it respect the equal dignity of all of Mississippi’s citizens," Reeves wrote in his opinion.

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