/State admits HB 1523 doesn’t protect all

State admits HB 1523 doesn’t protect all

U.S. District Judge Carlton Reeves questioned lawyers for the state Friday if their controversial “religious liberty law” would protect Mississippians who hold sincerely held beliefs against straight marriage. It also protects those who have sincerely held beliefs against gay marriage. The silence continued for a while. Paul Barnes, who is defending House Bill 1523’s constitutionality, and the registrar for vital records, cleared his throat. Judge Reeves looked at Barnes. Barnes replied, “I’m trying out to understand it.” The silence lasted almost a minute. Douglas Miracle and Tommy Goodwin were the other defense attorneys. They reviewed their notes. Someone coughed. Barnes finally leaned into his microphone. “No, my honor. He said that the text does not support it. “But I haven’t fully analyzed that question.” This admission was made near the end of two days worth of testimony on the lawsuits Campaign for Southern Equality v. Bryant and Barber v Bryant. They claim that Mississippi’s House Bill1523 violates both the Establishment Clause and Equal Protection Clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment. Reeves is asked to issue a preliminary injunction to stop the law from going into effect on July 1. The Equal Protection Clause prevents the government favored one religion over the other, while the Establishment Clause forbids the government favoring any one group of citizens. Gov. Phil Bryant signed HB1523 into law in April. It protects three “sincerely held” religious beliefs: That marriage is between one man, one woman; that people shouldn’t have sex outside of marriage; and that a person is born with a gender. Anyone who refuses to provide services to transgender people, gays or lesbians is protected by the law. It doesn’t protect people who refuse to serve someone because of other “sincerely held” religious beliefs. This discrepancy is what the plaintiff claims was the core of their argument. They claim that HB 1523 was passed by the state to erode rights that transgender Mississippians, gay, lesbian, bisexual, and bisexual Mississippians have recently won in Supreme Court cases like Obergefell v. Hodges or United States v. Windsor. On Thursday, the plaintiffs presented testimony from a number of witnesses, who detailed in detail and often emotionally, their feelings that the state violated their rights by endorsing House Bill 1523 beliefs over theirs. Rev. Susan Hrostwoski is an Episcopal priest and lesbian who was also a co-plaintiff in Campaign for Southern Equality’s lawsuit. “And yet, we were singled out for being less than.” Barnes stated that the state should not be held responsible for how people feel about its laws. “But the intention (to discriminate), is missing.” However, the plaintiffs argued that the intent was clearly displayed on the Senate floor on March 30th. Roberta Kaplan was the Campaign for Southern Equality’s lead attorney. She argued that Sen. Jenifer Brannning and other supporters of the law had urged passage because they believed there was a link between the opponents to gay marriage and Christian beliefs. Hrostowski paraphrased Sen. Branning’s testimony that the Christian views she espouses offend hers. Hrostowski stated, “And then when governor says Christians will line-up to be crucified because of this (law), that is blasphemy.” “Jesus was crucified for the atoning of human sins, not to oppress us all,” she said. She stated that her fear of being discriminated against or singled out had affected every aspect of her life. Hrostowski stated that it was a very visceral feeling for her as a lesbian. Reeves didn’t specify when he would issue a ruling. To support this work, you can make a regular donation to us today as part of the Spring Member Drive. 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 24, 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. This headline…whooo boy! Barnes stated that they don’t dispute the feelings 1523 caused them to feel. “But the intention (to discriminate), is missing.” It’s hard not to smile. MS lawyers are not the most sharp people in the country. Ironically, this “law” is not about the fact that anyone in the state knows that Jesus said absolutely nothing about homosexuality. Yet, this law is all about the Christian belief that Jesus held. What interests me more is the state defining religious beliefs in a law. Is it possible to create a Committee of Doctrinal Beliefs now? It almost seems like they made it unconstitutional. It is illegal to say “I won’t service f-gs” if you are a person with “sincerely held religious beliefs”. If they state that Jesus is the reason for their refusal to serve f-gs, then that’s honky dory. This law will be made “law”. It would only be fair for every business that discriminates on the basis of “religious” to provide detailed explanations as to why they are doing so. A disclaimer must be placed on all advertisements and posted clearly at each business’s entrance. Let the market rule that; but no LGBTQI person should have to approach any day in their own country/state/city/county like negotiating a minefield of “Christians” intent on using their reject to gain brownie points with God. So they can get into Heaven better/smoother/faster(? )/more VIP. It is gay human sacrifice to God “like” them more. This leads us to a sick, selfish, and self-serving motivation that is worthy of Satanists. They must publicly disclose the connection they make and accept the consequences if they want to discriminate in God’s name. They would be tempted to openly admit their “heartfelt” racism if they had the opportunity. Fair is fair. Fair, is fair.