2016/04/06 – Once again, Governor Phil Bryant has proven that his legacy will be one built on hate and the discrimination of others.
The innocuous sounding HB 1523 Protecting Freedom of Conscience from Government Discrimination Act, also known as the “Religious Freedom Act” has nothing to do with freedom or conscience and everything to do with discrimination. A bill that aimed to legalize hatred was signed into law today by Governor Bryant.
And it is hatred. It is discrimination.
Governor Bryant and legislators argued that this law only provides protection to those who want to discriminate against others based upon their “sincerely held religious belief or moral conviction.” But this language isn’t new.
There was a time when the idea that African-Americans were only suited for slavery was once a sincerely held religious belief and moral conviction for citizens in Mississippi.
There was a time when the idea that the intermarrying between whites and blacks was prohibited which was considered a sincerely held religious belief and moral conviction for citizens in Mississippi.
And now this same language is being used to deny another group of people what is their basic and legal right.
“It truly troubles me to know that Mississippi has yet to learn from its past as it continues to discriminate and divide its citizens,” says Derrick Johnson, President of the Mississippi State Conference NAACP.
“I call on those citizens of conscience who have a sincerely held belief and a moral conviction not to discriminate others, I ask you to join us and not to patronize any business that seeks to discriminate against others under the cover of this law” stated Johnson.
Source: MS NAACP