/Governor’s speech spurs legal exchange over ‘religious freedom’ law

Governor’s speech spurs legal exchange over ‘religious freedom’ law

Bryant was awarded the Samuel Adams Religious Freedom Award by the Family Research Council last Thursday for signing House Bill 15.23. Bryant also said that he would not accept any other religions. Anyone who refuses to provide services to transgender people, gays or lesbians is protected by the law. Attorneys for Campaign for Southern Equality cited the governor in their brief on Wednesday. They argued that the governor has publicly stated that he doesn’t intend to “remedy any of the asserted violations” resulting from the “religious freedom law.” “One of the arguments made by the governor in our case was that plaintiffs shouldn’t get relief from court because there wasn’t anything to suggest that court needed to step in and protect the rights gays and lesbians,” Josh Kaye, an attorney representing the Campaign for Southern Equality, stated. He was referring to last week’s request of the attorney general to dismiss the campaign’s motion. “But the governor’s statement speaks for itself as to why the federal court is needed to protect the rights gay and lesbian Mississippians according to the U.S. Constitution. There is clearly a reluctance of gays and lesbians to follow the court’s directive that they can’t be treated second-class citizens.” Judge Carlton Reeves ruled in Campaign for Southern Equality v. Bryant that the Mississippi Constitution section that prohibited same-sex marriage was invalid. Obergefell, v. Hodges was the U.S Supreme Court’s affirmation of this ruling. This legalized same-sex marriage across the country. The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals subsequently closed the case. Campaign for Southern Equality claims that House Bill 1523 is contrary to Reeves’ earlier decision. This is because Mississippi officials can withdraw from issuing marriage licenses for gay and lesbian couples. This puts these couples in second-class status. In its lawsuit against the state’s “religious liberty” law, the American Civil Liberties Union filed a brief. The ACLU requested Judge Daniel Jordan to issue an interim injunction to prevent the law’s implementation on July 1. This was in order to protect the dignity of the plaintiffs (an engaged gay couple). Both the ACLU attorneys and Campaign for Southern Equality lawyers stated that they expected to hear from their respective judges this month.