Governor Bryant, local religious leader comment on HB 1523 being signed

JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – Governor Phil Bryant signed the Religious Accommodations Act.

It’s been highly criticized by other elected officials, businesses, and some Mississippians.

Governor Bryant only made a quick statement about HB 1523 and then left before WJTV’s Beth Alexander or others could ask questions.

When asked why he signed the bill Governor Bryant said the following:

“Because I think it’s a good bill. I think it protects the religious freedoms of people who have deeply held religious beliefs. So did the legislature and so did the majority of people in Mississippi. So we signed it into law,” said Governor Bryant.

And with that being said …Governor Bryant was out the door.

We were told he was hurrying to get on a plane.

But it left many questions unanswered, including how the state could be impacted by businesses that oppose the Religious Accommodation Act.

“As a church, we should be for people and not get involved in the politics of it,” said John Hugh Tate, a Pastor at Bellwether Church.

He would not say whether or not he supports or opposes House Bill 1523.

But says there are nuances to the issue.

“You know, take my parents and grandparents who have small businesses across Mississippi they want to do their job and do their business for all people. So to compare business with marriage I think there’s a big difference there,” said Tate.

Ultimately, Tate is most concerned with bringing more people to salvation.

“There are a lot of people who need the church and instead of seeing the church as a place they can come to you they see it as a place of division,” said Tate.

The bill becomes law on Friday, July 1, 2016, but it could be contested.

The ACLU says they are closely examining all options to determine which next steps to take.

 

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