Mississippi may be known for being the poorest state in the union but we’re the richest when it comes to our values. Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant signed the “Religious Liberty Accommodations Act” into law which is a resounding victory for religious liberty.
What is HB 1523?
This bill states in Section 3 that “The sincerely held religious beliefs or moral convictions protected by this act are the belief or conviction that: (a) Marriage is or should be recognized as the union of one man and one woman; (b) Sexual relations are properly reserved to such a marriage; and (c) Male (man) or female (woman) refer to an individual’s immutable biological sex as objectively determined by anatomy and genetics at time of birth.”
In essence the beliefs that 1) Marriage is between one man and one woman and 2) One’s biological sex is determined at birth and cannot be changed are now protected from government interference.
Real life examples of who this would protect?
- Aaron and Melissa Klein were fined $135,000 by the State of Oregon for not participating in a homosexual wedding. This law would have protected the Kleins.
- Barronelle Stutzman is a florist, grandmother, Christian. She was sued by the ACLU and the Washington State AG for not participating in a homosexual wedding. This law would have protected Mrs. Stutzman.
- Blaine Adamson was attacked by the local government in Kentucky for not printing t-shirts for a gay pride group. The local government found Adamson guilty of discrimination (this was later reversed). This law would have protected the shirt shop owner.
- Robert and Cynthia Gifford had to pay the state of New York $10,000 for not renting out their farm for a lesbian wedding ceremony. This law would have protected the Gifford family.
- Atlanta Fire Chief Kelvin Cochran was fired for holding the view that marriage is between one man and one woman. This law would have protected Chief Cochran.
Unfortunately, none of the states in which these cases occurred had this kind of law in place. Mississippi is the first state to pass such a law that protects a person’s religious conscious to this extent and provides a course of action if the government were to force an individual to violate their conscience.
Similar legislation, different outcome
Recently, we’ve seen the Georgia governor cave to the bullies of Big Gay by vetoing a Religious Freedom Restoration Act. We also saw the governor of Virginia veto a bill that would exempt people of faith from having to participate in homosexual weddings.
The VA governor tweeted “we’re not going to tolerate discrimination. VA will be open and welcoming.” In essence everyone is welcomed to the commonwealth, except Christians. Somehow, refusing to condone the sexual habits of an individual is “discrimination.” This is pure lunacy.
The excuse among many to not pass similar legislation in other states is that “these examples haven’t happened in our state.” To them I say this, is it better to be proactive or reactive? I’d say proactive. We don’t need to wait until a Christian family loses their business before we act. The time to protect religious liberty is now and I applaud the Mississippi legislature and our governor for being proactive.
The Magnolia State has its priorities in order.