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Mississippi Passes Anti-Gay Religious Freedom Bill

“It protects Christians in the state from discrimination,” Rep. Andy Gipson, R-Braxton, who is also a Baptist pastor, told his House colleagues.
Mississippi Passes Anti-Gay Religious Freedom Bill

Religious freedom is the new code word for "hate on the gays" and Mississippi is among the first to adopt a Religious freedom legislation.

Mississippi lawmakers on Tuesday passed the final version of a bill that says state and local governments cannot put a substantial burden on religious practices, a measure that sparked debate about possible discrimination against gay people and other groups.

An early version of the bill, considered weeks ago, was similar to one that Arizona’s Republican governor, Jan Brewer, vetoed after business groups said it could hurt that state’s economy.

Supporters say the final version of the Mississippi bill bears little resemblance to the failed Arizona measure. But opponents were skeptical and said the law could still prompt people to cite religious beliefs in taking actions that discriminate against gay people, women or those of different racial backgrounds or faiths.

“We don’t have a lot of good will out there in the country to fall back on when it comes to a record against discrimination,” said Sen. David Blount, D-Jackson, citing Mississippi’s troubled racial history.Senate Bill 2681 is called the Mississippi Religious Freedom Restoration Act, and its main sponsor is Republican Sen. Phillip Gandy of Waynesboro, a Baptist pastor.

They can parse the language and try to make it appear nos as homophobic as Arizona's failed law did, but it's still what it is.

And here's the JOTD:

“It protects Christians in the state from discrimination,” Rep. Andy Gipson, R-Braxton, who is also a Baptist pastor, told his House colleagues.

Riiight, because Christians in Mississippi have been so victimized over the years. And when Tony Perkins love something, you know it's all about "hatin' on the gays"

Tony Perkins, president of the Washington-based conservative groupFamily Research Council, praised the bill.“The Legislature gave strong approval to a bill that declares that individuals do not have to trade their religious freedom for entrance into public commerce,” Perkins said.

Here's the deal:

“Senate Bill 2681 would promote discrimination against LGBT individuals and families in Mississippi. As a minister, it’s clear that this extreme bill is about legalizing discrimination, not protecting religious freedom,” said Rev. Jasmine Beach-Ferrara, Executive Director of the Campaign for Southern Equality, an advocacy group which promotes LGBT rights across the southern U.S.

Governor Phil Bryant said he will sign the bill into law:

The two sides disagree on whether the version passed Tuesday would allow discrimination against gays and lesbians on religious grounds. Another provision of the bill will add the words “In God We Trust” to the state flag, a priority of Gov. Phil Bryant’s (R). Bryant said earlier this month he would sign a previous version of the legislation.

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