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
Law scholars’ memorandum: http://web.law.columbia.edu/sites/default/files/microsites/gender-sexuality/files/memo_regarding_ms_hb1523.pdf
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/
Categories: Discrimination, Equality, Civil Rights, Legislative, Transgender, Transsexual, Trans
Jesus said he only gave two commandments. Love god and love others. And gave specific instructions not to judge at the risk of damning our immortal souls. Odd that those who claim to be his followers are the most judgmental and least loving of people.
From Slate (t/h Lynn Conway)
Segregation Is Back in Mississippi, This Time for LGBTQ People
On Tuesday, Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant signed into law the most expansive and malicious anti-LGBTQ bill ever passed in the United States.
The measure, cloaked in the language of religious liberty, is essentially an attempt to legalize segregation between LGBTQ people and the rest of society. It allows religious landlords to evict gay and trans renters; permits religious employers to fire workers for being LGBTQ; allows adoption agencies—private and state-run—to turn away same-sex couples; allows private businesses to refuse services to gay people; allows clerks and judges to refuse to marry same-sex couples; and forbids trans students from using public school bathrooms that align with their gender identity. No state has ever passed a law so blatantly rooted in malevolent animus toward LGBTQ people.
Its time to show america what hate is all about. Burn all buisenss down and all churches that hate people born of a diffent gender. There listed a diffent gender from birth but have to be hated for it because they live the gender there listed and when they correct that gender for how there listed has to be hated all the more. I say time to fight hate for hate
Jesus hates us, this I know. NC and Mississippi tell me so. Little ones who think they’re trans, will be banished from these lands. Yes, Jesus hates me, Yes, Jesus hates me. Yes, Jesus hates me, their bible tells them so. (Koo Ku Klux Klan and Neo-Nazi asshole territory)
I think they are just flaunting the fact that they are the 49th least educated state in the US. Guess there’s hope now to be the 50th….
It will be interesting to see how strong their “faith” is when their state gets even poorer as businesses pull out. Any LGBT person should, imho, think long and hard before spending money with any company headquartered there, any mail order business, any conference or event. As they say in England, “religion, my arse”, it is about bigotry and discrimination, pure and simple.
Wait till they find out Jesus is trans! Then what!?
World peace cx!
Yes they can join their proud brethren around the world.you all know their names isis taliban and the shria law police in Iran. Where state sanctioned bigotry and violence against anyone who violates or “appears” to violate their religios tenants is commonplace.
Here’s a pro tip: if you’re going to enact a law intended to enable discrimination, you might want to make at least some minimal effort not to emulate other laws the Supreme Court has already struck down.
And yet, the lawmakers behind Mississippi’s HB 1523, legislation permitting a broad range of discrimination against LGBT people in that state, violated one of the cardinal rules of drafting discriminatory laws — don’t be so flamboyant about it!
Before the mid-1990s, the Supreme Court largely ignored — or even actively shut down — cases brought by parties alleging anti-gay discrimination. That changed with the Court’s 1996 decision in Romer v. Evans, which struck down a Colorado constitutional amendment that singled out gay men, lesbians and bisexuals for inferior treatment under the law. Labeled as a ban on “Protected Status Based on Homosexual, Lesbian, or Bisexual Orientation,” the amendment forbade any arm of Colorado government from extending civil rights protections “whereby homosexual, lesbian or bisexual orientation, conduct, practices or relationships shall constitute or otherwise be the basis of or entitle any person or class of persons to have or claim any minority status, quota preferences, protected status or claim of discrimination.”
The primary sin of this amendment, as Justice Anthony Kennedy explained for the Court, was that it made gay people and bisexuals into a kind of underclass who were not even permitted to seek out civil rights protections through the ordinary political process. “Homosexuals, by state decree, are put in a solitary class with respect to transactions and relations in both the private and governmental spheres,” Kennedy wrote. “The amendment withdraws from homosexuals, but no others, specific legal protection from the injuries caused by discrimination, and it forbids reinstatement of these laws and policies.”
“Laws singling out a certain class of citizens for disfavored legal status or general hardships are rare,” Kennedy added. “A law declaring that in general it shall be more difficult for one group of citizens than for all others to seek aid from the government is itself a denial of equal protection of the laws in the most literal sense.”
Which brings us back to HB 1523. The Mississippi law, like the Colorado amendment, explicitly singles out LGBT people “for disfavored legal status.” The law begins with a declaration that “the sincerely held religious beliefs or moral convictions protected by this act are the belief or conviction that . . . marriage is or should be recognized as the union of one man and one woman” and that “male (man) or female (woman) refer to an individual’s immutable biological sex as objectively determined by anatomy and genetics at time of birth” (additionally, the law also purports to give special rights to people who object to extramarital sex of all kinds). Though dressed up somewhat in the rhetoric of religious liberty, this declaration is about as explicit a statement as Mississippi could have mustered expressing animus towards LGBT individuals. It specifically identifies same-sex couples and trans people as the “solitary class” disabled by the law.
The bulk of the rest of the law is a laundry list of the specific disabilities LGBT people will face if HB 1523 remains in effect. Though Mississippi isn’t exactly a haven for LGBT rights to begin with, the new law prevents the state or its subdivisions from extending a wide range of protections on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.
Thus, employers gain a special right to force trans-women to wear traditionally male clothing, or vice-versa. Photographers, wedding planners, cake bakers, venues and other, similar services gain a special right to deny services to same-sex couples. Foster parents gain a special right to raise children to support marriage discrimination and to be anti-trans. Employers deemed “religious organizations” gain the special right to fire any employee — from the chief executive to the janitor — for supporting marriage equality or for being trans.
Some of these acts, of course, may remain illegal under federal law, but the law extends as much of an umbrella as Mississippi can extend over a wide range of discrimination.
Admittedly, the Mississippi law is not perfectly comparable to the amendment in Romer. Colorado’s amendment was a sweeping general ban on civil rights laws based on sexual orientation, while the Mississippi law appears to be a wish list of specific permissions sought by anti-LGBT religious groups. Even so, the Court’s gay rights jurisprudence has only grown more robust since Romer. Indeed, the Court’s 2015 marriage equality decision includes some language suggesting that courts should apply a high degree of skepticism to any law that discriminates on the basis of sexual orientation.
Of course, that doesn’t necessarily mean that the Court will look with similar skepticism at discrimination against trans people, but the trend in LGBT rights cases has moved almost entirely in one direction since Romer. That fact, combined with HB 1523’s explicit language identifying it as an unambiguous permission slip to engage in discrimination, will likely be enough to shut the law down once it starts to limit the rights of LGBT people in that state.
Excellent and informative post.