LEXIE CANNES STATE OF TRANS — In the name of Jesus, Mississippi enacted a sweeping trans-hate law yesterday, upstaging the one adopted by North Carolina last week. Gov. Phil Bryant cited “religious freedom” in supporting the most severe anti-trans/LGBT legislation anywhere to date.
By referring to Jesus, anyone (and this includes businesses and organizations) in the state of Mississippi can refuse to recognize, serve, employ, house, provide medical needs or sell to trans/LGBT people.
Is it legal? Not according to a coalition of law scholars who promptly responded with a memorandum on the same day, arguing that the law actually encourages religiously-motivated discrimination.
Not all legislators were on board with the bill. Democratic state Rep. Stephen Holland according to Buzzfeed: “This is the most hateful bill I have seen in my career in the legislature. You ought to be ashamed of yourself. You are doing nothing but discrimination.”
Democratic state Sen. John Horhn: “Why does this keep happening to Mississippi? Why do people keep thinking so badly of us?” “This is one of them. It’s House Bill 1523 before us. . . . Ladies and gentleman, we don’t need to pass this legislation. We don’t need to put another stain on Mississippi.”
Democratic Rep. Christopher Bell: “It’s an open container for discrimination across the board.”
The Human Rights Campaign project spokesperson Needham before the bill became law: “This would be a new type of bill out there. It is very broad and very dangerous. It basically sanctions religious discrimination.”
The ALCU’s Erik Fleming: It basically sanctions religious discrimination. It is reminiscent of what happened 50 or 60 years ago in this same state. People say that it is just religious, but there were people who had a religious belief that black and white people should be segregated, and you’re opening that Pandora’s box again.”
Coalation of legal scholars — Michael H. Hoffheimer et. al.: “In summary, numerous sections of HB 1523 allow — indeed encourage — religiously-motivated discrimination in ways that conflict with established First Amendment doctrine and principles of equality.”
That last sentence bears repeating: the bill encourages religiously-motivated discrimination.
A need for Christians to get involved and help undo the damage cause by their fellow Christians can’t be overstated. Sitting on one’s hands amounts to enabling.
t/h Autumn Sandeen
Fallout from North Carolina’s trans-hate law: https://lexiecannes.com/2016/04/04/nc-gov-pat-blindside-mccrory-buried-under-political-sht-storm-for-anti-trans-law/
Read Lexie Cannes in The Huffington Post: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/courtney-odonnell/