Late Thursday [June 30] a federal judge issued an injunction that served to block a Mississippi law supporting the denial of service to homosexual and transgender people by businesses and government employees based on religious grounds.
It was US District Court Judge Carlton Reeves who issued a 60-page report on the Mississippi law, describing it, most notably, as “the state’s attempt to put LGBT citizens back in their place.”
Known as House Bill 1523, Mississippi’s “Protecting Freedom of Conscience from Governmemt Discrimination Act” was set to go in effect today [July 1] prior to Judge Reeves’ ruling. The law would have given the right to refuse such things ranging from baking a wedding cake to denying fertility services to LGBT couples on the basis of religion.
It was back in April that Governor Phil Bryant signed the bill into law, deeming it to be a reasonable means of protecting businesses and individuals freedom to exercise their religious beliefs.
One of the bill’s main arguments came the proposal to deny wedding services to same-sex couples, however Reeves pointed out that this right is already established under the Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment
“There are almost endless explanations for how HB 1523 condones discrimination against the LGBT community,” wrote Reeves. “But, in its simplest terms it denies LGBT citizens equal protection under the law.”