/Federal judge blocks HB 1523

Federal judge blocks HB 1523

U.S. District Judge Carlton Reeves, citing scripture and Mississippi’s past segregationist history, stated that House Bill 1523, signed in April by Gov. Phil Bryant’s April incident was yet another example of Mississippi trying discrimination into its laws. “Religious freedom was a building block of this great nation. After the nation was destroyed, the guarantee that equal protection under the law was used to reassemble it. Reeves stated that HB 1523 did not respect Mississippi’s tradition of religious freedom and does not recognize the equal dignity of all Mississippi citizens. Opponents of the law saw Reeves’s decision as victory over a bill they believed used religion to insert discrimination in state law. “Our state legislature does not have the right to pass a law that protects one group of religious beliefs more than another. In a statement after Judge Reeves’s decision, Carol Burnett, a United Methodist minister from Biloxi, stated that there is no separation between church and state. House Bill 1523 supporters are disappointed that a federal court has struck a blow to a law they believe is vital to the First Amendment right of freedom of religion. The House Bill 1523’s Speaker Philip Gunn stated that he was disappointed by Judge Reeves’s decision. “We felt that this bill was good and focused on protecting religious beliefs while also protecting rights of the LGBT community.” Gov. Phil Bryant, and Lt. Governor. Tate Reeves and Lt. Gov. were two of the most prominent supporters of the bill. They said that the state should stick to its law, and appeal the decision to the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. Reeves stated in a statement that the state’s lawyers should appeal this absurd ruling, which undermines Mississippians’ right to practice their religion as protected by the First Amendment. Bryant issued a statement as well: “Like the fact that I signed House Bill 15,23, this law only provides religious accommodations allowed by many states and federal laws. Judge Reeves failed to recognize this reality. I look forward to an aggressive appellation.” Attorney General Jim Hood (the only Democrat in the state office) said he would appeal Reeves’s decision earlier this week that circuit clerks can’t recuse themselves from issuing marriage licences to gays. Hood pointed out that the clerks weren’t parties to the lawsuit. Hood stated that he isn’t sure if he will appeal Thursday night’s decision. Hood stated that he had major reservations about the merits and origins of this lawsuit. “I cannot pick my clients but I can speak on behalf of myself as a named plaintiff in this lawsuit.” Hood stated that the fact that HB1523 protected religious freedoms was a lie. “Our state leaders tried to trick pastors into believing that, if this bill was not passed they would have to preside at gay wedding ceremonies. In no court case has it been ruled that a pastor cannot refuse to marry any couple. I don’t like politicians continuing to prey upon people who pray, attend church, obey the law, and help their fellow men.” House Bill 1523 focuses on three “sincerely held” religious beliefs that are worthy of protection. They are: that marriage is between one man, one woman, that no one should have sex with anyone outside of such marriages, and that gender is determined at birth. Anyone who opposes gay marriage or transgender people because of these beliefs is protected from lawsuit. This was the second ruling by Reeves against HB1523 this week. Reeves also ruled Monday that the section that allowed clerks not to issue marriage licenses to identical-sex couples would be invalidated. The ruling did not address other aspects of the law that was due to take effect on July 1. Private business owners such as caterers and other state officials such as counselors for public schools were still permitted to refuse to provide marriage-related services to transgender Mississippians. The House Bill 1523 was ruled invalid by Thursday’s ruling. Barber v. Bryant III and Campaign for Southern Equality III were the two lawsuits that it addressed. They argued that the law violated both the Establishment Clause and the Equal Protection Clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment. These laws prohibit the government from favoring one religion or one group of citizens over the other. “(House Bill 1523) stated that these three religious beliefs are the preeminent in Mississippi. If you share any of them, then you basically get a free pass for doing whatever you like, regardless of how discriminatory or offensive it might be to your gay or lesbian neighbors,” Roberta Kaplan, the lead attorney for the Campaign for Southern Equality lawsuits, said. Kaplan stated that the bill contains these elements and is clearly a violation of the fundamental principle of our country, which Judge Reeves also believes. It cannot choose one religion over the other, it can’t be a part of religious debates, it must remain neutral. This is exactly what this statute does. It’s a classic establishment clause violation.” Judge Reeves will rule on the matter. The law’s short but controversial life will be marked by his ruling. Despite the bill passing the Mississippi House and Senate in March with very little public scrutiny, #HB1523 was trending on Twitter by the time it reached the governor’s desk to be signed on April 5. This was because national media portrayed the bill “steeped” in bigotry towards LGBT people. Over the next few months, more House Bill 1523 opponents began to speak out. The Human Rights Campaign, an advocacy group for gay, lesbians, bisexual, and transgender rights in Mississippi, created a list of companies that were critical of the law while others took action. Fear of protests and anger over the passage of the law led to the cancellation in New York of the Mississippi Picnic. This 37-year-old tradition was held in New York’s Central Park. Fearing that negative publicity might affect tourism, cities like Biloxi and Natchez began to adopt their own resolutions affirming a commitment to diversity. The HRC joined with other allies such the American Civil Liberties Union, Southern Poverty Law Center and the American Civil Liberties Union to stage a protest at the Governor’s Mansion. More than 300 people chanted “no hate” in the state and urged Gov. Bryant should repeal the law. These requests were not answered. Although the governor did not often speak about the legislation, he stood behind it when he did. Last month, the conservative Family Research Council gave Gov. Bryant was awarded the Samuel Adams Award by the Family Research Council for his signing House Bill 1523. In his acceptance speech, the governor stated that Bryant would stand in line if it required crucifixion. Others who supported the “religious freedom law” said they were caught off guard by the national attention and fury. “If you look closely, a lot people that are against the bill came out against them after it passed,” Senator J.P. Wilemon (D-Belmont) stated in April. Wilemon voted in favor of a bill that he felt “fit” his beliefs. “We didn’t hear anything about it until it passed. It’s much easier to say you are against something after it’s passed. But, as the national spotlight focused on the issue, opponents were busy preparing for another battle — in federal court. The ACLU filed the first lawsuit against the law on May 9. They argued that the “religious exclusion” discriminated against gay and lesbian Mississippians by treating them with a different standard. Judge Reeves denied the plaintiffs’ request for a preliminary order last week on the grounds that they were not seeking to marry within the next three year. The Campaign for Southern Equality then filed a motion to reopen a 2014 case that had overturned Mississippi’s ban on gay marriage. Judge Reeves asked to apply the ruling from that case to this one. This was the first time a challenge to the law had been heard. Judge Reeves also ordered that all 82 county clerks issue marriage licenses for same-sex couples. The two lawsuits that Judge Reeves ruled in Barber v. Bryant III and Campaign for Southern Equality III were the mainstay of the fight against House Bill 15.23. These lawsuits, filed within days of each others just three weeks back, were the first to invoke the First and Fourteenth Amendments in order to challenge what legal scholars call a “blatantly non-constitutional” law. Matt Steffey, a Mississippi College of Law professor and expert in constitutional law, stated that “The Establishment Clause & Equal Protection — it is an obvious violation.” It’s really a mishmash constitution problems. “I don’t believe it will see daylight.” While it didn’t, both opponents and supporters agreed that a law that never went into effect would leave an indelible mark on Mississippi. It’s very intriguing. “It’s been an extremely divisive bill,” Rob McDuff, cocounsel on Barber at the Mississippi Center for Justice. “I believe it has encouraged greater discrimination against gay Mississippians than was already there.” “On one hand, there was an outpouring of resistance to this bill from straight people, gay people and lesbian people throughout the state, and that was unexpected to me. It’s also encouraging for our future prospects.” To support this work, make a regular donation to our Spring Member Drive today. This will allow us to continue important work such as this story. Our reporters give a human face to policy’s impact on everyday Mississippians by listening more closely and understanding their communities. To ensure that our work is aligned with the priorities and needs of Mississippians, we are listening to you. Click the button below to let us know what you think. Republish this Story You can freely republish our articles online or in print under a Creative Commons licence. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License. Mississippi Today, Larrison Campbell
June 30, 2016, Larrison Campbell, a Greenville native, reports on politics with a focus on public health. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Wesleyan University, and a master’s degree from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism. 1523 makes religious beliefs law. My belief has always been that religion should be governed by government. The Constitution is the place where you have all the freedoms that you have, God willing. But, then, you don’t seem inclined to support it. That’s what 1523 does: It makes three SPECIFIC religious beliefs greater than others. While the First Amendment protects ALL religious beliefs equally it doesn’t allow for anti-LGBT religious convictions of *some* people to completely wipe out LGBT peoples civil rights as 1523 does. Although you may be joking, the government should not dictate or manage religious beliefs. This would blatantly violate the First Amendment rights to those whose doctrines and beliefs are different. That’s the problem again with 1523. It denies one group their rights in the name “protecting” the other’s. Chris was being facetious, so I believed him. Poe’s law is still in force. Poe’s Law section 18 subsection B line 41: “Not applicable to Mississippi.” This is why you are about to wipe out LGBT peoples’ civil rights. The constitution protects us against such ideas and fanatics. Why is the author constantly mispelling the word “principles?” Why is it not accurate to call the FRC a Southern Poverty Law Center certified hate group and not the generic “conservative”? Your,,RELIGIOUS Freedom is in your home, it is in YOUR CHURCH ,,,,,, and it ENDS at everyone’s curb,,,
Religion/Christianity demands acceptance of the supernatural, and rejects the natural
,Isn’t religion GREAT? It gives you the right to hate or even kill someone you don’t like and it also allows you to forgive them.
Science can take you to the moon
You can fly into buildings with religion
It is a crime to teach superstition/religious beliefs to a minor child …… This destroys your ability think critically for the rest of your life. If this is your true belief, I hope it is not. It would indicate that your knowledge about the greatest document ever created is severely lacking. For a moment, let’s forget about secual identity or origins. You are saying that as a hetrosexual woman, I don’t recognize your beliefs and should be forced to worship them. This is because my government dictates my beliefs. It’s almost like what the settlers did for the Native Americans. I am sorry that you don’t see the beauty in diversity and other beliefs. And why should the gays force everyone to accept their life style? They don’t ask “Christians” for anything. They just want to be treated like everyone else and their religion not to be discriminated against. It also states in the bible that “God created man according to his image”. Also, it is okay to sell your daughters into slavery. Anyone who does not resti g in sabath should also be stoned. The world is changing and 2016 is not 16 years ago. Perhaps you should not take it so literally and try to live in the real world. WANTS TO BE MARRIED? YES, THAT IS AGAINST ALL OUR S AND GOD BELIEFS. Did they force you to attend the wedding or perform it? They didn’t. They didn’t ask you to do the ceremony, host it, or otherwise participate in their special moment. Tgey don’t want homophobic bible-beaters at their special moment. If you are ever invited to such an event, you can decline it and continue your fucking beliefs. Sorry, your full of hate. Even when I said that I have gay friends.
Your religious views are protected from anyone who violates them. Ummm, that’s not love that is discrimination. As long as they are loved by you, then they should be granted the same rights. I don’t apologize for my beliefs. However, my religious views have not discredited or attempted to destroy any other cultural or religious belief’s. Your beliefs are more important than anyone who wants to be happy. My beliefs do not interfere with yours, but you would discriminate against me because it makes you feel uncomfortable. Keep your preyers away from those who are blind. Jesus Christ accepted the lowest members of society and made them part of his flock. Cain and Able were also made to condone murder. God also asked Jacob for his son’s sacrifice. He also gave Jacob an eye for an eyes and instructed that women should keep their selves from men during their menic. Where did Cain’s and Ables’ wives come from? He also stated that men could sell their daughters into slavery, and that women were evic because of Eve’s sin. I think that you are wrong to believe that Christianity is a good enough reason to deny someone their rights. It promotes discrimination and doesnt proect anyone other than CHRISTIANS.