Skip to comments.Mississippi Lawmakers Approve Religious Freedom Bill SB 2681, Gov. Phil Bryant Will Sign
Posted on 04/03/2014 1:45:10 PM PDT by SeekAndFind
Mississippi lawmakers in both chambers of the legislature passed the Mississippi Religious Freedom Restoration Act (SB 2681) Tuesday. Gov. Phil Bryant (R) has said he will sign the bill. When it becomes law it will prohibit the state from taking action that "burden" a citizen's right to religious exercise. LGBT activists have attacked the bill as discriminatory.
The legislation was approved in the Mississippi House with a 78-43 vote and was approved in the Senate with a wide majority, according to BuzzFeed.
A copy of the bill defines "burden" as "any action that directly or indirectly constrains, inhibits, curtails or denies the exercise of religion by any person or compels any action contrary to a person's exercise of religion."
This burden includes, but is not limited to, "withholding benefits, assessing criminal, civil or administrative penalties or exclusion from governmental programs or access to governmental facilities."
The ACLU of Mississippi reacted to the passage of the bill in a release Tuesday calling it "a controversial law" that "could open the door to discrimination against any group based on religious objections."
After SB 2681 is signed into law by Gov. Bryant it will become effective July 1, 2014.
"We remain hopeful that courts throughout the state will reject any attempts to use religion to justify discrimination," said Jennifer Riley-Collins, executive director of the ACLU of Mississippi. "Nobody should be refused service because of who they are."
The organization highlighted the rejection of similar legislation in states like Georgia, Idaho, Maine, Ohio and most recently, Arizona's SB 1062, which was rejected by that state's Republican Gov. Jan Brewer on Feb. 26.
"Even though the Mississippi legislature removed some of the egregious language from Arizona's infamous SB 1062, we are disappointed that it passed this unnecessary law and ignored the national, public outcry against laws of this nature," said Eunice Rho, advocacy and policy counsel with the ACLU. "We will continue to fight in state legislatures across the country to ensure that religious freedom remains a shield, not a sword."
In a statement reported by BuzzFeed Tuesday morning, the Rev. Jasmine Beach-Ferrara charged that the bill will hurt the LGBT community.
"Senate Bill 2681 would promote discrimination against the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals and families in Mississippi," said Ferrara. "As a minister, it's clear that this extreme bill is about legalizing discrimination, not protecting religious freedom. Furthermore the broad implications of this bill could result in discrimination aimed toward many communities."
The Family Research Council's Tony Perkins, however, praised the passage of the bill as a victory for the First Amendment.
"This is a victory for the First Amendment and the right to live and work according to one's conscience. This commonsense measure was a no-brainer for freedom, and like the federal [Religious Freedom Restoration Act], it simply bars government discrimination against religious exercise. The legislature gave strong approval to a bill that declares that individuals do not have to trade their religious freedom for entrance into public commerce," he noted in his daily e-blast.
"I commend Mississippi legislators for reading the bill and consulting the facts and not yielding to the wild distortions of the frenzied opposition of anti-religious liberty activists who caused other elected officials to retreat in recent weeks," he noted.
Republican Speaker of the Mississippi House, Philip Gunn, said in a press release the legislation is "responsible," and noted that it also includes language that adds "In God We Trust" on the Great Seal of the state of Mississippi.
"The RFRA language in this conference report is responsible and narrow in focus," said Gunn. "The goal of the House, from the beginning, has been to craft language that protects the religious freedoms for all and prevents discrimination against anyone. This RFRA language is virtually the same language passed in 1993 by Congress.
"It passed the United State House of Representatives on a unanimous voice vote, passed the United States Senate 97-3, and was signed into law by President Bill Clinton," he said.
Mississippi Lawmakers Approve Religious Freedom Bill SB 2681, Gov. Phil Bryant Will Sign; Gay Activists Call it Discriminatory
[My take: Judge will rule it unconstitutional and void it ]. We've seen this movie before...
Mitt Romney tweeted against a similar bill in Arizona and John McCain joined loudly in the chorus that supported Governor Jan Brewer in vetoing it.
Any chorus here from the GOPe.
The courts will step in eventually I would suspect.
RE: The courts will step in eventually I would suspect.
Yep. In 21st century America, the people have allowed one judge sitting on the bench to override the legislature and the will of the people in referendums.
I am very wary of the Christian Post as a source
LGBT activists oppose this, tells you all we really need to know about these SAD, SAD People.
So am I. They use "Christian" like a sheeps skin.
There’s talk just to the south of me in Maryland of a country commissioner praying in defiance of a federal judge’s order at public meetings.
The athiests want a contempt ruling with fines in the matter.
We’ll see how far that goes?????
Apparently their foreign versions are very leftist according to something I read on FR the other day
I’m sure local media will repeat the gay talking points like they did for the TN version of this bill.
Glad that in MS the first amendment is respected by the state legislature and they don’t collapse like a wet noodle in the face of criticism by those hostile to Christians.
RE: I am very wary of the Christian Post as a source
They can’t lie on this news even if they wanted to.
Here are others reporting the same thing:
Los Angeles Times:
Mississippi Business Journal
Call me nuts, but I thought it was already illegal to deny services based on religion.
RE: Call me nuts, but I thought it was already illegal to deny services based on religion.
Can you cite any Federal law that says that?
As a consequence of the parents of LGBT activist evidently not making sure that their children were taught about 10th Amendment protected state powers versus constitutionally enumerated rights, misguided LGBT activists unsurprisingly do not understand the following.
Regardless of PC, pro-gay interpretations of the 14th Amendment's (14A) Equal Protections Clause, the states have never amended the Constitution to expressly protect so-called gay rights. This is evidenced by the Supreme Court's decision in Minor v. Happersett which clarified that 14A added no new constitutional protections.
3. The right of suffrage was not necessarily one of the privileges or immunities of citizenship before the adoption of the Fourteenth Amendment, and that amendment does not add to these privileges and immunities. It simply furnishes additional guaranty for the protection of such as the citizen already had (emphasis added). Minor v. Happersett, 1874.
So the states are free to make laws which discriminate on the basis of anything not expressly protected by the Constitution, PC gay "rights" for example, as long as such laws don't also unreasonably abridge enumerated protections such as 1st Amendment-protected religious rights.
Just the 14th Amendment and the Civil Rights Act.
Yes! SCREW YOU, BREWER!
Is this the same measure that that silly governor of AZ was afraid to sign?
Yes, very similar. That’s why the homos are up in arms against it.
RE: Just the 14th Amendment and the Civil Rights Act.
I can cite the first amendment and the bill of rights.
Which one came first?
After all, nobody wants to be an "uncle tom" like all those folks in Africa.