Churches in Mississippi can now have their own armed militia

PinkNews logo on a pink background surrounded by illustrated line drawings of a rainbow, pride flag, unicorn and more.

Just in case you thought the Governor of Mississippi was done making stupid decisions after signing an anti-LGBT law… you’d be wrong.

The Governor of Mississippi Phil Bryant signed a new law earlier this month that enables discrimination against LGBT people – ignoring pleas from business leaders in the state.

The law goes even further than most – permitting people to discriminate based on sexual orientation in “any employment-related decision” and “any decision concerning the sale, rental, [or] occupancy of a dwelling” as long as it’s based on “sincerely held religious belief or moral conviction”.

The bill also bans the state from taking any action whatsoever against a person or business “on the basis that the person has provided or declined to provide [services]” to gay couples.

But in case you thought Governor Bryant’s actions were a one-off… he’s struck again.

The Governor today signed the Mississippi Church Protection Act – which affords churches the right to form their own heavily-armed security units.

He claims: “Churches deserve protection from those who would harm worshippers. That’s why I signed HB 786.”

Republicans spoke in favour of the law, claiming that it would permit “a church to have a sergeant-at-arms to protect the church body” – as most legislatures do.

One lawmaker arguing against bizarrely the law brandished a sword during his speech – presumably not having heard the aphorism about bringing a sword to a gun fight.
Churches in Mississippi can now have their own armed militia

JoeMyGod notes that the Mississippi Police Chiefs Association has expressed concerns about the bill – which they say may “put law enforcement and all Mississippians in harm’s way”.