PETAL, Miss. - The Religious Freedom bill signed by Governor Phil Bryant on Tuesday has stirred up some recent controversy across the nation.
Mayor of Petal, Hal Marx, said he supports the new bill signed into law and mentioned people are not fully reading the bill.
"If somebody has a strong religious belief to a certain type of conduct and it goes against their religion they should not be forced by the government or the threat of a lawsuit to have to take part of that activity" said Marx.
Marx added, "This is all the law does, it gives protection to those people."
He mentioned the law protects religious rights and does not discriminate towards any group.
HB 1523 states:
"AN ACT TO CREATE THE "PROTECTING FREEDOM OF CONSCIENCE FROM GOVERNMENT DISCRIMINATION ACT"; TO PROVIDE CERTAIN PROTECTIONS REGARDING A SINCERELY HELD RELIGIOUS BELIEF OR MORAL CONVICTION FOR PERSONS, RELIGIOUS ORGANIZATIONS AND PRIVATE ASSOCIATIONS; TO DEFINE A DISCRIMINATORY ACTION FOR PURPOSES OF THIS ACT; TO PROVIDE THAT A PERSON MAY ASSERT A VIOLATION OF THIS ACT AS A CLAIM AGAINST THE GOVERNMENT; TO PROVIDE CERTAIN REMEDIES; TO REQUIRE A PERSON BRINGING A CLAIM UNDER THIS ACT TO DO SO NOT LATER THAN TWO YEARS AFTER THE DISCRIMINATORY ACTION WAS TAKEN; TO PROVIDE CERTAIN DEFINITIONS; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES."
Mayor Marx said he would not be surprised if the law is challenged by the courts.
The law is effective July 1.