Organizations comment on Religious Freedom Bill

JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) — Now that House Bill 1523 is being sent to Gov. Phil Bryant’, several organizations are speaking about it.

The bill would let government employees and private businesses cite religious beliefs to deny services to same-sex couples who want to marry.

The Southern Poverty Law Center Released this statement about the bill:

“HB 1523 is an outrage. Discrimination masking as ‘religious freedom” is still discrimination. Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant should follow Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal’s lead and veto this toxic legislation. Enough is enough.”

The Mississippi Executive Director of the American Civil Liberties Union, Jennifer Riley-Collins issued a personal statement about the bill.

Three years ago today, I started my new job as Executive Director of the ACLU of Mississippi.  I was filled with hope and encouraged that I would help to make Mississippi better at the helm.  Today, I am once again reminded of what I know God said to me when I returned to Mississippi: “There is work yet to be done”.

Yes, I, like many Mississippians, even those who may not look or love like you do, identify as a Christian.  This was my identity before I took this position.  It will be my identity afterwards and most importantly while I have this position.  I fight for the rights and refuse to judge others because of my Christian belief.  The God I serve is a God of love, not hate.  He commands us to “show no favoritism.”   I am therefore, disturbed when in the name of Christianity, the Mississippi Legislature attempts to legalize discrimination.

“Yes, Lord I will go!” That was my response when I was asked to stand in the gap on behalf of the disenfranchised.  I am proud of the ACLU of Mississippi and other partner organizations like the Human Rights Campaign and Planned Parenthood who have also heeded the call.  This is a dark day.  Mississippi has seen dark days before, but we are determined, despite laws meant to hold us back, that Mississippi will be made better.

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