Federal Judge Strikes Down HB 1523

Businesses in Mississippi won’t be able to refuse services to certain individuals based on their religious beliefs under House Bill 1523, at least for now.
U.S. District Judge Carlton Reeves struck down the controversial state law Thursday night, just hours before it was set to go into effect.
The law, also known as the Religious Accommodations Act, would have allowed clerks and businesses to refuse services to certain people, such as members of the LGBTQ community, based on their personal religious beliefs.
Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant signed the bill into law back in April. Since then, there has been a backlash from the LGBTQ community who call the law discriminatory and unconstitutional. In a 60 page ruling, U.S. District Judge Carlton Reeves agreed.
Tony Boyette is one of the plaintiffs in suit against House Bill 1523. He said, “It targeted the LGBTQ community. There’s no way that you can look at this bill and think that it doesn’t. And unwed mothers for that matter or people living together and having a relationship and not being married. That covers a large section of the state. I’m not sure how any business could survive, much less thrive, if they were to use the opportunities this bill gave them to discriminate against all these people. It doesn’t make good economic sense for Mississippi.”

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