American Family Association Applauds Gov. Phil Bryant and Mississippi Lawmakers for Passing Freedom of Conscience Bill
TUPELO, Miss.—In spite of pressure, fear tactics, lies and intimidation from pro-gay activists, Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant today signed into law HB1523, the “Protecting Freedom of Conscience from Government Discrimination Act,” which will protect religious rights in the state.
State senators passed the bill on March 30 by a vote of 31-17. The bill had previously passed in the state House along party lines, 80-39, with many worried that the Senate would waver in their support of the bill due to fear of gay activists and state business organizations who are hostile to Christianity. Thankfully, lawmakers heard the voices of concerned citizens and acted accordingly.
American Family Association (AFA, www.afa.net) has been closely watching the issue in its home state, alerting its tens of thousands of friends and supporters to contact their senators to vote “yes” on the important bill.
“American Family Association applauds Gov. Phil Bryant, Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves, Speaker of the House Philip Gunn and Mississippi lawmakers for the brave passage of this crucial bill,” said AFA President Tim Wildmon. “By voting ‘yes’ to the ‘Protecting Freedom of Conscience from Government Discrimination Act,’ our governor and lawmakers heard the voices of their constituents and cast their vote for our residents’ freedom of religious conscience rather than for vocal and wealthy gay activists.”
HB1523 will do the following:
- Prevents state and local governments from violating the conscience of individuals or entities who affirm marriage as being only between a man and a woman.
- Protects a person’s conscience from state and local government discrimination if they affirm that sexual identity is biologically fixed at birth.
- Protects faith-based adoption agencies from government discrimination if the agency places children only in homes of a mother and father.
- Protects religious schools and other non-profit religious groups, like AFA, from governmental threat of losing their tax-exempt status.
After the Senate passage of the bill, Lt. Gov. Reeves released the following statement: “In the wake of last year’s U.S. Supreme Court decision, many Mississippians, including pastors, wanted protection to exercise their religious liberties. This bill simply protects those individuals from government interference when practicing their religious beliefs.”