Mississippi passes most anti-LGBT bill to date

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a white background.

Mississippi has passed the most anti-LGBT legislation to date and the Governor has indicated that he’ll sign it.

House Bill 1523 passed a vote in the State Senate on Wednesday and will now be sent to Governor Phil Bryant to be signed into law (after an amendment vote in the House).

The bill which was passed by the House last month, was voted through the Senate, 31-17, and will be known as the ‘Protecting Freedom of Conscience from Government Discrimination Act’.

Unlike bills passed in other states, the Mississippi only protects people with anti-LGBT religious views.

It states that it’s acceptable to discriminate someone who identifies as LGBT, if the view is held that marriage should only be between a man and a woman, sex should only happen in marriage and male and female refer only to someone’s anatomy.

Protect Thy Neighbor, a group that promotes separation of church and state, has said that the new bill could have disastrous consequences for LGBT people in the Magnolia State.

It claims that the law could see a woman fired from her job for wearing trousers, a counsellor on a suicide line refuse to speak to an LGBT teenager or even an adoption agency refuse to place a child with a family because the parents lived together before they were married.

To ensure protection for people who claim to have these beliefs, the bill protects them from tax penalties, loss of contract or benefit and from any fine or penalty.

These views can also be used in court to justify discriminatory behaviour if sued.

Although no city in the state has banned LGBT discrimination and number had passed resolutions opposing it. This means that, like North Carolina, if a city was to pass an ordinance – it would be automatically voided.

Earlier this week, North Carolina Governor, Pat McCrory, was delivered a ‘gift’ from LGBT protesters after signing a similar law in his state.