People rally at capital against House Bill 1523

JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – There was a crowd of supporters on the steps of the Capitol Tuesday.

Several organizations rallied together against House Bill 1523.

It is a religious freedom bill that many have deemed discriminatory.

Organizers of the demonstration say they won’t stop their fight.

“We need to continue to work to make Mississippi a place where all people are welcome,” said Rob Hill, an organizer of the rally.

With their signs raised and chants in sync, a group of advocates gathered on the steps of the capitol, asking lawmakers to change their minds about House Bill 1523.

Representative Andy Gipson says the bill applies to churches, religious leaders, and faith-based schools.

Giving them the freedom to handle certain situations as they choose based on their Christian beliefs.

Other say, it’s discrimination.

“The first amendment of the Constitution protects everyone and allows them to believe whatever they want to. But it has never been used as a tool to deny someone else their civil rights,” said Hill.

Lawmakers in Georgia recently introduced a similar religious freedom bill.

In response, several big named companies like Walt Disney and Coca-Cola threatened to stop doing business there.

Georgia’s governor vetoed that bill.

“This is why people are angry with the politicians of our nation. They are elected to represent the will of the people. They are not elected to represent Hollywood values   nor Wall Street values,” said Jane Robbins, a supporter of the bill.

The bills are in part, in response to the controversy surround Kentucky County Clerk Kim Davis. She was jailed for refusing to issue marriage licenses in Rowan County.

“If you are a circuit clerk, and you work for the state or the county, it is your job to serve the people and so you have to follow the law,” said Hill.

We reached out to the sponsor and co-sponsors of this bill to give them an opportunity to comment on the legislation and the protest, but so far they have not returned our calls or emails.

WJTV will continue to follow this story.

 

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