HATTIESBURG, Miss. - The 5th Circuit U.S. Court of appeals has denied a request to keep state House Bill 1523 from going into effect Friday while opponents of the bill appeal to the US Supreme court.
Tuesday, the 5th circuit court denied what is considered a religious freedom bill that critics argue discriminates against Mississippi's LGBTQ communities.
“Our concerns is that people are going to use their faith as a religious means of discriminating against people in the LGBTQ community,” said Spectrum Center President, Dennis Cowles.
However, Gov. Phil Bryant said HB1523 merely reinforces the rights which currently exist to the exercise of religious freedom as stated in the first amendment to the US constitution.
“There’s one provision that defines sex is only appropriate in the context of a marriage between a man and a woman, technically anyone who commits adultery can be discriminated against and so that’s probably a very large fraction of the population,”
Cowles said The Spectrum Center will set up a hotline to document any cases of possible discrimination due to HB 1523.
“To discriminate on the basis of religious faith, I think is incredibly cynical. For a long time we justified enslavement of other human beings based on religion. Well, we know consider that a moral wrong. And we now consider this a moral wrong against our community as well,”