Another US State Signs Anti-LGBT Legislation Into LawThe anti-LGBT legislation is similar in language to other states introducing “religious freedom” bills.

Mississippi is the most recent southern state to pass anti-LGBT legislation.

HB 1523 was signed into law on Tuesday, April 5 by Governor Phil Bryant. His decision was met with extreme opposition from businesses and equal rights organizations. The bill will legally allow religious groups and private businesses to refuse services to LGBT individuals.

Bryant made a statement on Twitter saying he signed the bill “to protect sincerely held religious beliefs and moral convictions of individuals, organizations and private associations from discriminatory action by a state government or its political subdivisions, which would include counties, cities and institutions of higher learning.”

He added that the bill simply “reinforces the rights which currently exist to the exercise of religious freedom as stated in the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.”  He also said the bill “does not limit any constitutionally protected rights or actions” along with not challenging federal law.

In a statement, executive director of The American Civil Liberties Union of Mississippi Jennifer Riley-Collins said, “This is a sad day for the state of Mississippi and for the thousands of Mississippians who can now be turned away from businesses, refused marriage licenses, or denied housing, essential services and needed care based on who they are. This bill flies in the face of the basic American principles of fairness, justice and equality and will not protect anyone’s religious liberty.”

She also said the bill is “far from protecting anyone from ‘government discrimination’ as the bill claims, it is an attack on the citizens of our state, and it will serve as the Magnolia State’s badge of shame.”

The law will come into effect on July 1.